Smart Home Weather Stations

Frequently Asked Questions

Getting Started

The Smart Weather Station is a dynamic modern piece of technology, always getting better with every app release and automated firmware update. Use the Smart Weather app to walk you through setup and configuration.

To setup your Smart Weather Station, you will need a smartphone or tablet running our iOS or Android app. Your smartphone or tablet must support BlueTooth Low Energy (BLE) — this is how your phone connects to the HUB. Download the Smart Weather app from the Apple App Store or Google Play. Then, launch the app and follow the step-by-step instructions to configure your weather station.

Yes. Once your weather station is configured (using the Smart Weather App), you can view it online from any browser at https:smartweather.weatherflow.com. Simply login using the same credential you used to create/configure your station.

Yes and no.  Most people will locate their weather station at home and connect to a home WiFi network. Doing this will enable consistent weather data to flow into our servers and allow anytime data access. It is possible to operate a Smart Weather Station via your smartphone, however, data will only be reported when the phone is directly connected to the weather station (via BLE).

The HUB is designed to plug into a power outlet inside your house. We will supply a USB power cable for international compatibility.  The AIR & SKY run on AA batteries. We strongly recommend using Lithium (not alkaline, not lithium ion) as they perform much better in variable temperatures.  AIR uses four AAs, and SKY uses eight AAs.  Both AIR and SKY are meticulously designed to consume a tiny amount of power allowing for super long battery life.

AIR & SKY communicate with HUB via powerful sub-gHz telemetry radios. We have tested the radio signal over 300 meters (1000 ft+) in a clear line-of-sight. All situations differ with local obstructions like walls and power interference.

The Smart Weather App is available on the Apple App Store and via Google Play. Search for “WeatherFlow” or “Smart Weather”.

Product Features

You might not realize this, but most weather apps and even your evening news is based on public domain data — primarily on weather stations installed long ago at regional airports. Having a reliable weather station at your house can help you save money on heating & air conditioning based on the true environmental dynamics of your house, tell you exactly what’s happening in your backyard (not the nearest airport), and allow you to make automated decision with your smart home systems.

We’re all about good data….because let’s face it, bad data is misleading. That’s why we have spent considerable effort sourcing and testing high-quality sensors for every device we produce. Combined with innovative technologies like our proprietary sonic anemometer and haptic rain sensor, our devices are every bit as accurate as scientific weather stations that cost 3X the price. See our sensor specs on the previous page.

Better siting, better data. In order to accurately measure wind, rain, and UV you need to place the SKY in an open area with a clear view of the sky above (like on your roof). As you can imagine, placing a temperature sensor in the full sun presents issues. That’s why we made the AIR a separate device to be placed in the shade — more accurate data.

Yes. You can publish your weather station data directly to Weather Underground. We’ll walk you through the WU set up in our app.

You can use any connected device to view your weather data. iPad – yes. iPhone – yes. Android phone or tablet – yes. Computer – yes. Anything with a browser.

Siting

Proper siting is critical to get the most accurate weather data.

Ideally, the HUB should be plugged inside your house within range of your WiFi router to establish a reliable and solid WiFi connection. It should also be situated within range of your AIR & SKY devices to communicate over wireless telemetry radios. Avoid locating your HUB behind cement walls and other major obstructions for best results.

AIR is designed to be placed outside in full shade. If you cannot find full-shade, we recommend housing AIR within a solar radiation shield to avoid temperature spikes caused by direct sun exposure. AIR should also be placed away from electrical interference like major appliances, power lines, outdoor speakers, or other electronic devices that could potentially cause interference of the lightning detector. Finally, it is best to situate AIR in a vertical position — even upside down — as the lightning detector antennae must be vertically oriented to perform as designed.

SKY is designed to be placed in full sun, with a clean wind fetch. Ideal location is on a pole clear of physical obstructions that might impede wind flow.  The LUX sensor on the top of SKY is design to be placed with a clear view of the sky….hence the name!

If you must place your AIR in a sunny location, make sure to house within an adequate solar radiation shield. There are plenty of fine solar shields on Amazon: search “solar radiation shield”.  We’ve test this one:  http://a.co/fu9505i  and the AIR fits snuggly inside.

The SKY has a couple mount options. The first option is a standard 1/4-20 mount commonly used for cameras and small electronics. The second mount is designed to fit n top of a pole with an outer diameter of 1.315 inches, or 33.40 mm. The specific standard is known as “NPS 1” in the US (and Canada?) or “NB 1” in the UK. In most of the rest of the world it’s also known as “DN 25”. It should be a very common pole size everywhere. In the US it’s sold at DIY stores in various materials-if you ask for a “one inch” pole.

Apps

The Smart Weather App is available for download at the Apple App Store or via Google Play. Search for “WeatherFlow” or “Smart Weather”.  (Apps to be published in June 2017).

Absolutely! Available on iOS or Android before the products ships. Note: no Amazon app as Amzon does not allow publication of apps that run Google services.

Yes, the WeatherFlow app is required to setup and configure the smart weather devices. The app also serves as your daily weather data viewer. Once set up, you can also view your data through or web app, as well as other integrated weather apps such as Weather Underground Personal Weather Station.

Most of them. WeatherFlow devices are compatible with all iOS and Android 4.3+ devices with Bluetooth Low Energy support for direct connection to the devices. If the device is connected to your home WiFi network, your data is pushed automatically to the cloud. Then anyone / any connected device can view the data via the WeatherFlow app or a variety of integrated weather and smart home apps.

We are adding new integrations every month. As of May 2017, you can view your WeatherFlow weather data on Weather Underground, weather34.com, Weather Display, and a couple others.

Technical Questions

Also see our technical support help pages for more detailed information.

SKY houses a sonic anemometer in the top of the device. The SKY measures wind speed and direction based on the time of flight of sonic pulses between pairs of transducers. This allows for a high degree of accuracy especially in variable wind conditions.  For more information see Wikipedia on Sonic Anemometers.

Good question! Our proprietary sonic anemometer actually samples wind every 1sec, then reports the 3sec average to the hub. The hub makes the 3sec data immediately available to the app, via UDP multicast, and via BLE spec. The hub then calculates a 1min average (+ lull & gust) and publishes that data to our servers in the cloud.  This scheme allow us to sense and report detailed nuances in the wind field. We have been been evaluating user-configured update intervals — but it’s not available in our software yet.

Yup. Pretty cool, huh?  The AIR actually detects cloud-to-ground AND cloud-to-cloud activity. Our sensor detects electrical transmissions from lightning activity up to 40km (approx. 25 miles) away and gives an estimate of distance. Humans can typically sense lightning only up to 25km away. The sensor algorithm is even smart enough to reject man-made signals such as microwave ovens and motors.  That said, it’s important to place the AIR away from electrical disturbances for best performance. The maximum detection efficiency at 5km is about 40%, at 15km ~35%, and at 40km ~18% or so. Please note that the sensor is an early warning system designed to track the head of the storm, it is not necessary to capture every single lightning strike. It is enough to capture some events to get information on how far the leading edge of the storm is away from the sensor’s position. The system is based on statistical analyses of lightning strikes and is thus not comparable to expensive lightning measurement equipment.

SKY uses a patent-pending haptic rain sensor in the top of the device. Using a combination of pressure and capacitance, SKY measures and counts each falling raindrop. Algorithms exclude things that are not rain (like the rumblings of a passing train or Harley). This allows SKY to report the instant rain begins falling, the current intensity, and the total rain accumulation over time.  Accuracy compares to a large tipping bucket, but does not get fouled with leafs or bird crap.

Normally, your smart weather station will collect and send data to our servers. You can access this data through our app or our website, and you can export it in a variety of ways. But your stations will also collect and store data even when they are not connected to the Internet! First, the HUB will store a couple weeks of data if left alone. Then, once internet connection is restored either via WiFi or via smartphone, the data will automatically be updated. From there, you can view or export it as usual.

Integrations

From the Smart Weather App, it’s easy to create a new Weather Underground Personal Weather Station (PWS) ID and begin viewing your data in Weather Underground services.  From the Smart Weather App, simply got Settings for your station and click the Weather Underground link.

IFTTT (If This Then That) offers up a universe of possibilities to put your weather data to good use.  See the WeatherFlow page on IFTTT for sample applets, or create your own based on triggers from your weather station.

To install the Smart Weather skill say, “Alexa, enable WeatherFlow Smart Weather”. Then link your Smart Weather account using the Alexa app or the Alexa website.  Once linked, you can ask Alexa things like: “Alexa, ask WeatherFlow how’s the weather?” “Alexa, ask WeatherFlow what is the temperature?”

As of May 2017, we are in the process of developing an integration with Google Home. Soon you will be able to say:  “Hey Google, what’s the weather at my house?”

Update As of May 2017 —  the computer chip set required for Apple Home Kit was recently changed by Apple. We are monitoring the status, awaiting final spec from Apple on compatible chips and their rigorous certification process. In the meantime, we’re developing alternative integrations so that our weather stations will work with Siri. Stay tuned.

Update As of May 2017 —  we are in the process of developing an integration with Samsung Smarthings. Stay tuned.