The Detroit Post
Friday, 03 December, 2021

Do Weather Globes Actually Work

Danielle Fletcher
• Friday, 18 December, 2020
• 10 min read

We wanted to answer the most common questions surrounding storm glasses, and explain why it is likely that they do not work as well as some may claim. Our team of editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products to help you navigate when shopping online.

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They would eventually rise in popularity in the mid-1800s after British Naval Officer Admiral Robert Fitzroy used them aboard the HMS Beagle, which also happened to host a young Charles Darwin doing his initial research on evolution. Admiral Fitzroy was a weather enthusiast, and over the course of his expeditions, he examined the behavior of a storm glass to better understand how it worked.

The relationship between the liquid’s behavior and the corresponding weather conditions used today derive from Fitzroy’s work aboard the Beagle. Storm glasses fell out of favor late in the 19th Century as mercury barometers became more affordable.

Even today we do not entirely understand how these devices work, or how the crystals inside form and change shape. The version of the weather glass used in Fitzroy’s time was not completely sealed (typically by only a rubber cap) so pressure changes may have had some kind of effect.

While research is slim on the storm glass (even when they were more commonly used), several studies over the years seem to suggest crystal growth is affected by temperature more than anything. Our opinion is that storm glasses should not be relied upon as a legitimate weather instrument but more of a conversation piece for your office or coffee table.

If you’re searching for a functional and decorative weather instrument that is reasonably accurate, we recommend a Galileo thermometer. As we mentioned earlier, Robert Fitzroy popularized the current method to read a storm glass.

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They should also not be placed in a window that receives direct sunlight, or somewhere that may experience sudden temperatures changes during the day. To help you decide on the best storm glass to buy, we’ve reviewed three separate models on Amazon that we think are worth considering.

It has received solid reviews across the board, although, as we’ve mentioned above, don’t expect the predictions to be accurate from any storm glass. Unlike some other models, it is visually appealing enough to sit on your countertop to accent your other decor rather than being the focal point.

It combines a storm glass with a Galileo thermometer encased in a wooden holder with a mahogany finish. It’s no more expensive than the Eon Concepts storm glass and generally gets good reviews from buyers.

If you’re looking for a slightly cheaper version of the Eon Concepts model, Cavalry Mercantile’s storm glass is a good alternative. It lacks the Eon’s LED base, but still gets excellent reviews for its construction and operation.

We think this makes the Cavalry Mercantile storm glass stand out more, and might be a better option if you have other dark wood pieces throughout your home. However, if you keep this in mind, and are a weather enthusiast (or know somebody who is), a storm glass will be a great conversation piece or gift.


Hammer Schemer sells one and says, “Although how it functions remains a mystery, the ability of the storm glass to predict atmospheric change is well documented.” Does it work ? The idea is that the mixture is so finely balanced that minor fluctuations in atmospheric conditions will change the solubility of the chemicals and produce a wide variety of crystal shapes, from tiny floating flakes to large masses of feathery fans.

Early theories held that the chemical blend inside was sensitive to light, heat, wind, atmospheric pressure, or even electrical charge. In some glasses the contents were exposed to atmospheric pressure via a flexible rubber cap, but other models were hermetically sealed.

Interest in storm glasses crested in the 1860s, when such scientific notables as Michael Faraday, Robert Fitzroy, and Charles Tomlinson investigated their properties. Fitzroy, meteorologist and captain of HMS Beagle (of Charles Darwin fame), touted the glasses’ accuracy in his Weather Book of 1863.

Tomlinson, on the other hand, tested a glass for several months and found it was sensitive only to heat, calling it a “rude thermoscope.” Japanese research from 2008 backs this up, pointing to temperature change as the sole cause of crystal growth. A hitch: initially no scientific supply house would ship the goods to a private residence, doubtless seeing in the ominous-sounding chemicals the ingredients of a terrorist plot.

Toiling late one night at Straight Dope Labs, RNA and Sierra made six storm glasses. Each consisted of a big test tube filled with the precisely measured chemical mixture, then capped.

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But after a few days the initial crystal growth settled to the bottom of the tubes, leaving the liquid above clear. Every day for 12 weeks, RNA and Sierra recorded local weather conditions plus their observations of the crystals in each glass.

First introduced during the 18th century by Admiral Robert Fitzroy, a storm glass is designed to predict the weather while also serving as a decorative piece. It is said that Captain Robert Fitzroy, as mentioned above, developed the storm glass while navigating the world with Charles Darwin in the 1850s.

Thus, the first weather predicting device to incorporate the concepts of temperature, pressure, and humidity was born. The special mixture within will create different formations depending on a number of environmental factors.

These varying formations are then interpreted in order to predict the upcoming weather conditions. The mixture is usually made of ethanol, distilled water, ammonium chloride, potassium nitrate, and camphor.

Simply put, weather predicting storm glasses are a perfect combination of functionality and elegance. Visit the website to see detailed information about the product, such as the design, features, materials, and prices.

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To help customers find the best weather predicting storm glass, I’ve made a review of the top five products I have tried myself. The following studies include extensive research of why I am recommending these storm glasses and what was my ultimate choice among the list.

The Eon Storm Glass is handcrafted and comes with a brilliant LED wooden base, making it a decorative centerpiece for homes and offices. Furthermore, this storm glass contains a high concentration of chemical mixture and forms gorgeous crystals as a result.

It comes in small, medium, and large, each with a brilliant LED wooden platform that changes in colors when the white button is pressed. With a wide array of options, it’s more enjoying to shop for weather predicting storm glasses online.

Although the Accurate 00795A2 isn’t the most precise tool for measuring temperature and pressure, it does provide a close approximation. Moreover, since this device was invented by Galileo, it would make a perfect gift for a historian or anyone interested in mathematics, science or philosophy.

Not only is its diamond shape appealing in its own right, but it also reflects light differently than standard teardrop storm glasses do. This clever design will create all sort of shapes when light is shining on it, a sure way to add ambience to a room.

What better way to predict the weather and add some glimmer to your home than with this elegant piece, which also comes with a gift bag. The main difference between this model and the Accurate 00795A2 (above) is the addition of the analog hydrometer and a slightly smaller thermometer and barometer.

With its unique design, Lily’s Home Desktop Weather Station can be placed where other storm glasses might be ill-suited. Furthermore, the vertical design of the storm glass alongside the Galileo thermometer gives this beautifully crafted piece the element of symmetry.

Perhaps the most notable aspect of this model, however, is that it combines 2 different technologies from antiquity: the storm glass of Admiral Fitzroy the buoyancy thermometer of Galileo. This is probably the only device you can get that joins these two historical figures that lived during different times, yet both contributed immensely to the body of knowledge that we now rely on today.

Here is yet another version of this model that also includes a quartz clock and an analog hydrometer, the former of which was invented by Warren Harrison and J. W. Horton and the latter by William Nicholson. If you’re gifting a weather predicting storm glass to somebody, then it’s not necessarily the price tag that should determine which one to choose.

Potted plants easily dry out, especially if you don’t water it for five to six days. Equilibrium is essential to enhance the growth of the plant, and to attain this balance, you will need something to keep the soil moist.

You may have seen several infomercials where demonstrations on how watering globes work were made public. That round, glass bulb with slender neck is what is called a watering globe.

Watering spikes take the shape of the regular plastic or glass bottle that you can insert in the soil. They can be harmful, but they function just the same as aqua globes or even detachable spikes with reservoirs.

One advantage watering spikes have over aqua globes is you are given the flexibility to choose the right size of reservoir to use. Watering globes have a thin stem that pushes into the soil of the container.

This tool is limited by some factors, which makes the water leaving the globe to go slowly, but steady. If the soil around the mouth of the globe is dried, it will release air that will displace a small amount of water.

After the displaced water must have wet the soil, the pores close and the airflow ceases. Automatically, water will stop coming out from the mouth of the globe until the soil dries out again.

It’s easy to set up and won’t bore you with lengthy tutorials. Just buy, fill the globe with water, and insert it into the hole you made with your finger in the soil.

Using a watering globe makes it unnecessary for you to move your potted plant from one destination to another. The thing is watering globes work efficiently if the factors and variables are favorable.

Being glassy means that they are fragile and are susceptible to cracks or breaks. Watering globes come in different sizes, and the ones with narrow openings can be difficult to refill.

They can easily break while inserting them in the soil, unless you are extremely careful. Removing the clogs can be a little tricky due to the slender nature of the neck.

To avoid the neck getting clogged at the first instance, make a hole with a stick that’s deep, and then insert the watering globe. This way, the neck won’t interfere with the soil particles directly.

Necks of watering globes getting clogged is a common issue, especially when you want to take them for a refill. As earlier stated, it’s a bit difficult but there are a couple of things that can get rid of the clogs.

Other alternatives include using a wooden skewer or cotton bud to remove the clogs. Use your index finger to make a small hole at a 45° angle in the soil.

Although, you can easily purchase one from the store and not go through the troubles of drilling holes on the cap. Wash the inside with bleach solution and make sure you completely rinse the bottle.

The water will slowly discharge from the little holes in the bottle’s cap into the soil. Sometimes, many people tend to get it wrong with balancing the weight of the globe.

As a result, the water doesn’t get to the plant due to its very slow rate. When using a watering globe for the first time, ensure that you don’t fill it up to the brim.

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