Types of Weather Instruments and their Usage | The Weather Station

Types of Weather Instruments

Until the 18th century, people were utterly dependent on sensory observations for any weather data, i.e., they understood the wind direction through the movement of leaves or estimated the time of rain through the number of clouds in the sky.

Now, the time has changed. Today, we are blessed by modern technology, including different weather instruments and home weather stations that help us accumulate accurate weather data.

Meteorology is the science of the atmosphere that includes both the weather and the climate. This study includes some methodological instruments that help collect the atmosphere’s physical, dynamic, and chemical state.

Here, I will give a clear concept about some most important meteorological instruments and their uses that will make you realize how blessed we are because of these instruments and how they help collect accurate weather data.

17 Types of Weather Instruments

There are different types of meteorological stations consisting of various instruments for measuring different parameters. For example, Atmospheric pressure is measured by a barometer. Again a thermometer measures the temperature, etc.

Jumping into the main topic, let’s talk about different individual instruments used to measure weather and climate along with their usage.

1. Thermometer


Amazon’s Top Recommended Mercury Weather Thermometer

Sometimes we feel hot, again occasionally cold. This occurs due to temperature change. Through the feeling of hot and cold, we can tell it is summer or winter, but for knowing the exact temperature, a device is required, such as a thermometer.

The thermometer is a device that is used for measuring the temperature or the temperature gradient. This temperature can be used in industry, meteorology, and even in medicine.

This device has two important things that help in measuring the temperature. The first one is a sensor that uses different physical parameters like expanding different states of matter to sense the change. The second one is a converter that converts the change of temperature into a numerical number.

There are different types of thermometers considering through which liquid it is filled. In weather stations, mainly mercury-filled thermometers are used.

Mercury-filled thermometers can measure the temperature from -35 to 40 degrees Celsius. It has a scale division of 0.2 degrees. But if the temperature is less than -35 degrees Celsius, this thermometer cannot give an accurate result and becomes unreliable.

For measuring the temperature under -35 degrees Celsius, alcohol-filled thermometers are used. This type of thermometer can measure from -65/-75 degrees Celsius to 20/25 degrees Celsius.

The thermometers use different physical parameters like the expansion of different states of matter for measuring the temperature. You can find a huge variety of thermometers from this Amazon page.

2. Barometer


Amazon’s Top-Rated Barometer Weather Instrument

A barometer is an instrument that measures atmospheric pressure. It measures the pressure in measurement units called bars or atmospheres.

The earth is wrapped by layers of air which is called the atmosphere. The air has weight, and it presses everything against gravity. A barometer measures this pressure.

When the barometer shows low pressure, it means that the weather is rainy, windy, or cloudy, and when the pressure is high, it means that the weather is fair.

There are different types of barometers like the mercury barometer, aneroid barometer, and digital barometer. Among these three, the digital barometer is the latest one that gives accurate data. You can easily find various types of digital barometers from this Amazon page.

3. Hygrometer


Amazon’s Top Recommended Mechanical Hygrometer

It is a device that measures the amount of water vapor in the air or the humidity. There are different types of hygrometers, considering their different principles.

Hygrometers can mainly be divided into two types. They are a dry and wet bulb psychrometer and a mechanical hygrometer.

Here are various other best-quality hygrometers you can buy from this Amazon page.

4. Anemometer


Amazon’s Top Recommended Handheld Anemometer

Anemometer is a widespread instrument in wind stations. It is used to measure the speed of the wind.

The speed of wind gives a lot of information about the weather. Like; if the speed of the wind is high, it indicates a storm.

So through an anemometer, we can determine the speed of the wind, which helps us protect ourselves from many natural disasters beforehand.

You can also find various types of handheld anemometers at an affordable range from this Amazon page.

5. Wind Vane

Weather Wind Vane

Amazon’s Top Recommended Wind Vane

A wind vane is also called a weather vane or a weathercock. This is an instrument that is used to show the direction of the wind.

It has a similar feature to the traditional cockerel design with letters that indicate the points of the compass.

The tool is placed on top of a weather station that gives accurate results about the direction of the speed, which provides a lot of information about the changes in the weather.

You can also find different types of wind cane from this Amazon page.

6. Rain Gauge


Amazon’s Top Recommended Rain Gauge

A rain gauge is an instrument used by meteorologists for measuring the amount of precipitation that occurred over some time.

They are one of the instruments that are present in most of the weather stations. The rain gauge must be placed in an open place without any obstacle.

The amount of precipitation is measured either manually or by an automatic weather station. The instrument has some limitations. A rain gauge can’t collect rain during a hurricane.

You can find various ranges of rain gauges from this Amazon page.

7. Campbell Stokes Recorder

Campbell Stokes Recorder

This device records the sunshine and is used for knowing how many hours there was bright sunshine.

It is designed with a glass sphere for focusing on the rays coming from the sun. It concentrates into a beam enough for burning paper. If there is any break in the burn line, that indicates that the weather is cloudy.

8. Transmissometer


A transmissometer measures the extinction coefficient of the atmosphere and the seawater. It also determines the visual range.

This instrument is operated by passing a beam of energy through a propagation medium. A detector placed at a distant place receives the energy and measure the site the amount through which it says the coefficient of the atmosphere.

9. Stevenson Screen


A Stevenson screen, also called a thermometer screen, is a shelter of other weather instruments. It protects the instruments from rain, snow, high wind, and even from animals and also from precipitation and direct heat radiation.

It is kept above the ground to avoid strong temperature gradients and encourage free passage of air. It is placed in such a way that it is not destroyed because of heavy wind.

10. Ceiling Projector

Weather Ceiling Projector

It is a device used to measure the height of the base of the cloud above the ground. The projector is normally set at an angle of 90 degrees Celsius, but sometimes 71 degrees 31 minutes may also be used.

The instrument is made up of two components. Among which one is the sight of the spotlight, and the other is the alidade.

The spotlight is 430 watts which are placed in a secure box where two mirrors are also present. These mirrors are set for producing a high-intensity beam of light that makes a light spot on the cloud base.

11. Radiosonde


A radiosonde is an instrument that is battery powered and used for measuring atmospheric parameters. The parameters include temperature, pressure, wind direction as well as speed.

It is worked using a rubber or latex balloon filled with helium or hydrogen gas that measures the parameters and transmits them to the receiver in the ground by radio.

The radiosondes can operate at a frequency of 403 MHz to 1680 MHz. In most of the radiosondes, there are radar reflectors.

12. Ceiling Balloon


The ceiling balloon has a similar function as the ceiling projector. But there is a difference, and it is the ceiling balloon is the device that measures the height of the base of the cloud during the daytime.

A ceiling balloon is a rubber balloon that is red in color. The principle behind it is the time difference required for the balloon to climb from its release and the time required to disappear within the cloud tells the height.

13. Snow Gauge

Snow Gauge

A snow gauge is an instrument that is used for measuring solid precipitation over some time.

The instrument is made of two parts. One of the components is a copper catchment container, and the other one is a gauge itself.

Once the snow is collected, the container is removed. The snow is melted in the tank, and then it is poured into a measuring cylinder that measures the amount of snow collected.

14. Barograph


A barograph is a kind of barometer that represents its result in a graphical form. It is used for measuring the barometric pressure, i.e., the atmospheric pressure.

This instrument includes a computer that gives the accurate result of the pressure in a graphical form that will tell the changes in the atmosphere.

15. Dropsonde


A dropsonde is a different type of instrument that is dropped from the aircraft over water to get information about the condition of the storm.

It contains a GPS and pressure, temperature, and humidity sensor to gather data on atmospheric profile, and the information is passed to the aircraft through the radio transmission. The data are visible on the computer.

16. Lightning Detector


Amazon’s top recommended lightning detector.

This is an instrument that detects the lightning that is produced through thunderstorms.

There are three types of lightning detectors, considering the number of antennas present. They are a ground-based system, mobile-based system, and space-based system.

Lightning detectors don’t work alone. Instead, they work along with weather radars. The indicator shows the electrical activity, and the radar shows the precipitation, and together they give a complete result.

You can also find other types of lightning detectors from this Amazon page.

17. Automatic Weather Station

Automatic Weather Station

This is a digital version of the weather station that is automated. It reduces human labor and can give much more accurate results than that of the weather station.

In the areas where human beings can’t survive, an automated weather station is the one there that keeps updating the weather change and also awarding beforehand about any natural disaster.

People Also Ask

The 6 main and most common types of weather instruments are:

  1. Anemometer
  2. Wind Vane
  3. Barometer
  4. Thermometer
  5. Hygrometer
  6. Rain Gauge

There are different types of meteorological stations consisting of various weather instruments such as – 

1. Thermometer
2. Barometer
3. Hygrometer
4. Anemometer
5. Wind Vane
6. Rain Gauge
7. Campbell Stokes Recorder
8. Transmissometer
9. Stevenson Screen
10. Ceiling Projector
11. Radiosonde
12. Ceiling Balloon
13. Snow Gauge
14. Barograph
15. Dropsonde
16. Lightning Detector
17. Automatic Weather Station

Yes, the thermometer is one of the essential 18 instruments of the weather station. It is used for measuring temperature.


Weather instruments like the thermometer, barometer, hygrometer, and rain gauge are essential in every weather station.

With these all-weather measuring instruments with names, we can get accurate weather data and identify even the slightest change in the cold. It is also possible to become aware of any natural disaster.

Scroll to Top