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WeatherFlow Tempest Weather System review: The best home weather station available

I’ve been trying to get my hands on a WeatherFlow Tempest for years. When I first spotted the device on Indiegogo in late 2016 (that’s not a typo), it sounded like nothing else available at the time. Now that it’s finally here, there’s still nothing better. Other weather stations are complex, challenging to install, and involve large sensor suites. The Tempest houses everything in one impossibly small and easy-to-set-up enclosure.

The Tempest took much longer than expected to reach the market. WeatherFlow promised backers a station by 2017, but manufacturing issues and delays repeatedly pushed its launch back. Most of the original backers didn’t get their stations until 2018 or later. And while the company was taking preorders—most of those preorders didn’t make it into customers’ hands until this year. 

What took so long? It was what was inside. While the Tempest has all the necessary measurements, such as temperature, humidity, wind, and rainfall, the instruments taking those measurements are housed in a single package that isn’t much larger than your hand—it’s tiny by weather station standards. The Tempest also measures wind and rain differently than just about any other station on the market.

This review is part of TechHive’s coverage of the best home weather stations, where you’ll find reviews of competing products, plus a buyer’s guide to the features you should consider when shopping.

While wind speed is measured sonically—a technique that Netatmo’s Smart Anemometer introduced to the consumer weather station market four years ago—WeatherFlow’s haptic rain sensor is something I’ve never seen before.

weatherflow tempest annotatedWeatherFlow

WeatherFlow’s Tempest weather station houses all of its sensors and instruments in a single compact enclosure that can be mounted to a mast or a tripod.

Instead of using a tipping-bucket mechanism, a standard method for home weather stations for more than two decades, the Tempest measures rainfall by sensing raindrops striking the Tempest’s top. WeatherFlow has a patent on this technology.

From what I can gather, that new technology was much of the holdup: It takes time to get things right. But boy, did they. This weather station is a game-changer, and at $329, while not the cheapest, the Tempest is the best station I’ve tested.

Setting up 

There isn’t much to do when it comes to setup. The entire sensor suite comes preassembled, and at 7.25 inches in diameter, 12 inches in length, and weighing just 3.5 pounds, it’s surprisingly small and light. For installation, you can attach it to the top of a mast (the method I used) or screw it onto the top of just about anything using its standard tripod mount.

The package also includes a Wi-Fi base station, which the Tempest uses to connect to your home network. The entire setup process is within the app, and I had the station up and reporting data in just five minutes.

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