An auto-reporting weather station uploads weather updates to a secure Web site through a personal computer or an Internet Protocol (IP) data logger. IP data loggers are available from many weather station manufacturers. They eliminate the need to have a PC turned on full time to upload ongoing weather data.
Various weather station manufacturers provide secure Web sites for uploading and viewing your weather data. Or you can stream live weather data to the Weather Underground (www.weatherunderground.com), WeatherBug (www.weatherbug.com) or the Citizen Weather Observer Program (www.wxqa.com). In general, these Web sites allow you to view current weather conditions, as well as archive and analyze historic weather data, which also can be downloaded to your computer. You can choose to share weather data with others or keep it private.
Weather stations offer wired or wireless packages for relaying weather data to your PC or IP data logger. A cellular or satellite modem that relays data directly to the Internet is another option.
Prices for IP weather stations range from hundreds to several thousand dollars. One option, the Weatherlink 6250 IP Vantage Vue wireless weather station, transmits weather data wirelessly up to 1,000 ft. to a data logger, which can upload weather conditions to a Web site every minute. The station that includes an IP data logger and related software is available for $600 to $700 from various online retailers. The non-IP version sells for about half as much. The systems are from Davis Instruments (www.davisnet.com).
The WeatherHawk 916 wireless weather station (www.weatherhawk.com) uses a 916-MHz spread spectrum radio for communication up to 1/2 mile to a host computer or data logger. Optional antennas can extend the range to more than 5 miles. The weather station sells for $2,500 to $3,000 or more, depending on options.