Types of Weather Instruments

What's Going on Up There?

Um, excuse me? What's so great about weather instruments?

Great question! You see weather effects a lot of what we do, what we're able to eat, and even what we're able to wear. If we didn't know what the weather was going to do life would be pretty difficult, or at least frustrating. For example you may decide to wear shorts and a t-shirt to have a fun time flying your kite around the park, but by the time you get there it starts raining!

That's why weather instruments are so important, they provide us with a way to understand the weather! Weather instruments gather information about the weather around us and then using this data, past data, and the data from other areas we're able figure out what the weather in the future may look like.


This is used to tell us the temperature, the air around it heats up and the liquid expands showing then the temperature on a scale.


Barometers are used measure air pressure. When the number rises you can expect sunny and stormy weather, when it falls the weather will be stormy and wet.

Rain Gauges:

These measure the amount of rain that has fallen over a certain amount of time. The gauge is left outside while it's raining, and the rain water gathers in the gauge to estimate the amount of rain fallen.

Wind Vanes:

Wind vanes determine the direction the wind is blowing in. They are left outside when the wind blows, they point in the direction that the wind is coming from.


These measure wind speed. Tiny cups catch the wind and start to spin which in turn spins a dial, the dial then shows the wind speed.


A hygrometer measures the water vapor content of air (or humidity which indicates how likely precipitation, dew, or fog is).These usually rely on measurements of something else like temperature, pressure, mass or a mechanical or electrical change in a substance as moisture is absorbed.


Katelynn Laws