Mild winters are the most important factor in our ranking of the cities with the best weather, with seven out of 10 points in the category dedicated to the number of days above 0 °C. We also reward communities with dry climates, with two points dedicated to the number of days per year without rain or snow.
Maclean’s Best Communities in Canada ranks 415 cities across the country based on 10 categories: Wealth and economy, affordability, population growth, taxes, commute, crime, weather, access to health care, amenities and culture. They’ll tell you exactly what the weather ’s doing at your own home, farm, school or business in real-time by measuring atmospheric conditions, such as temperature, relative humidity, barometric pressure, rainfall, wind speed, and wind direction.
However, you will need to make sure that you only purchase a reliable and accurate unit from one of the leading manufacturers and avoid the cheaper imitations that won’t last. Our team of editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products to help you navigate when shopping online.
The WS-2902B update added additional sensor support, and now the WS-2902C has a new, user-friendly layout on the display console to make the wind information more prominent. Instead, the console acts as a hub to connect the sensors and display the data on the Ambient WeatherNetwork.
Through either of these networks, you will be able to remotely view real-time and historical conditions from your phone, tablet, or computer. The weather station can also integrate with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, which means you can ask a compatible device (e.g., Amazon Echo or Google Home) for the current indoor or outdoor conditions, and you’ll receive your very own local weather report.
The WS-2902C wowed us with its connectivity and value for money, and for these reasons, it still holds the top spot as our number one recommendation. However, for those looking for a premium yet affordable option that supports additional sensors, then the Ambient Weather WS-2000 is the station to buy.
Just like the WS-2902C, you will still get the best -in-class connectivity to a wide variety of smart home platforms, including IFTTT, Amazon Alexa, and Google Assistant. The hub also offers the capability to add a combination of up to 8 sensor transmitters or weather stations.
However, we highly recommend the Davis Vantage Pro2 for its superior accuracy, fast reporting intervals, and durability. The Pro2 is one of the very few weather stations on the market where the anemometer is separate from the temp, humidity, and rain sensors so you can mount it on a roof or a tower for the most accurate wind readings.
The display is basic but easy to read with an adjustable dimmer, and it also features a battery backup should the power go out. We’ve tested the Accurate 5-in-1 sensor unit and found its accuracy to be acceptable as long as the station wasn’t in direct sun.
Direct sunlight caused temperatures to read higher and humidity lower than it was supposed to. Just don’t expect the same degree of accuracy or durability as the more expensive weather stations.
You’ll still get the accuracy Davis is known for, but in an integrated package that is much easier to set up due to its all-in-one sensor suite. Like the Pro2, the Vantage Vue.JS can also connect to the Internet and allow additional sensors via the Weathering Live Hub, which sells separately.
In our tests, the Atlas scored favorably against other stations in its class, even besting the Vantage Vue.JS in temperature and humidity accuracy in direct sunlight. The Atlas includes an aspirating fan in the thermometer and humidity sensor housing, ensuring heat isn’t building up inside the shielding, where the Vantage Vue.JS does not.
If you previously owned an older Accurate 5-in-1 model, you will appreciate the upgraded sensors of the Atlas which provide far more accurate readings. Accurate has also rated the Atlas wind vane to work at speeds of up to 160mph and increased reporting frequency to every 10 seconds.
Installation of this station is straightforward, thanks to the integrated tightening knob on the sensor suite for pole mounting setups. The Accurate app and Access module make connecting to the Internet, and remote monitoring for mobile devices a breeze.
The Atlas weather station’s expand ability and the HD touchscreen display console are also noteworthy features. You can also set customizable alerts for temperature and humidity and quickly view the daily minimum and maximum readings on the console.
That said, functionality is limited, and without any expand ability, you may find yourself purchasing a full weather station in the future. Accurate’s 02007 Digital Home Weather Center is much like the La Crosse C85845, although in addition to the temperature and humidity readings for both indoors and outdoors, it also provides exact barometric pressure and an innovative weather forecast for up to 12 hours in the future.
However, it lacks expand ability options, and owners reported accuracy issues in both indoor and outdoor temperatures. With that said, accuracy overall is a disappointment, as cheaper sensors and heat insulation issues cause temperature readings to run high regularly.
If you’re outdoors often, stations that measure UV index, solar radiation, or can sense nearby lightning are useful, while gardeners and farmers might find leaf and soil moisture/soil temperature sensors worthwhile. Most wireless weather stations have a transmission distance of 330 feet between the console and the sensors.
Some models have smart home capabilities that let you do all kinds of cool things, like connect to IFTTT. For example, when it rains, your weather station could trigger your smart sprinkler system to turn off and conserve water.
A solar-powered weather station will give you years of use with minimal maintenance as you won’t need to worry about changing the batteries very often. One of these areas is construction, by using cheaper and subsequently less durable materials, the manufacturers can offer inexpensive models.
Remember that your weather station is going to be out in the elements' year round, and in potentially extreme conditions. If you can afford to purchase a high-end home weather station, do it, you’ll have something that lasts a lot longer as a result.
We understand that you’re not made of money, and in the end, the price is still going to play a role in your purchasing decision. That said, you’ll need to at least expect to spend somewhere in the order of $150-$200 USD for a decent home weather system.
The best personal weather stations can easily approach $1,000 USD with all the bells and whistles. Your rain gauge needs to be level and high enough so that it doesn’t get splash back from the ground, and away from obstructions.
Official wind speed and direction measurements are taken at the height of 33 feet, and well above any obstructions. If you are mounting the weather station to a house or structure, be sure to run a ground wire.
The Ambient Weather Osprey WS-2902C is our Editor's top recommendation and best value for money option. The latest models now incorporate smart home features, expand ability options, and user-friendly internet connectivity.
If you are looking for the perfect mix of value and functionality, the Ambient Weather WS-2902C Osprey Wi-Fi 10-in-1 will be the best weather station for you. If you are an avid weather enthusiast and money is not an issue, we recommend the Davis Instruments Vantage Pro2.