AcuRite is likely one of the world’s most prolific weather instrument manufacturers. Chances are you’ve seen at least one model at your local retailer: retailers like Walmart, Target and the Home Depot sometimes sell either the AcuRite 3 in 1 or 5 in 1 weather stations (or both) in their brick-and-mortar stores.
But as you may have already read in our weather station guide, we don’t recommend purchasing these as they often are cheaply made and often don’t have a good track record of reliability. Yes, that includes some AcuRite weather stations.
To answer this, AcuRite introduced the Atlas, a higher-end station, and has often been rumored to be working on the Atlas Elite. They’re a step up from previous models. We’re also big fans of the AcuRite app, which is arguably one of the best weather apps on the market right now.
Let’s get started with a few questions we frequently hear from readers.
What is the difference between the AcuRite weather stations?
The AcuRite Notos is the cheapest model. The station does not measure wind direction or rainfall but measures indoor and outdoor temperature, humidity, wind speed, and barometric pressure. The AcuRite Iris includes all of the measurements above and adds a rain gauge and a wind vane for wind direction, while the Atlas further adds UV and light intensity (lux) and optional lightning detection. We have a comparison chart for you later in this blog post.
Who should buy the AcuRite Notos?
The AcuRite Notos, formerly known as the 3 in 1, is best for those with limited space and might need wind speed data instead of the typical digital thermometer. We’d recommend it for purely casual use and general weather information — those looking for better accuracy are better served by the Iris or Atlas. The Notos is not internet-connectable and requires batteries to operate.
Who should buy the AcuRite Iris?
The AcuRite Iris, formerly known as the 5 in 1, is best for general use. This is a great entry-level station, and AcuRite offers several models. We recommend the model with the better console and the Access base station for connectivity, but you should also consider the Ambient Weather WS-2902C if you consider the Iris.
Who should buy the AcuRite Atlas?
The AcuRite Atlas is the company’s most advanced model. It adds an optional UV and light intensity sensor, and it is capable of adding lightning detection. The indoor display is also really nice. If you’re considering the Atlas, select the model with the Wi-Fi console and the optional lightning detection. This package is cheaper than the Ambient Weather WS-5000.
Are AcuRite weather stations accurate?
We often get questions as to the accuracy of AcuRite products. In our experience, we’ve found AcuRite’s accuracy to score below their competitors, with the notable exception being the Atlas. The Atlas is currently the only station we recommend, although the Iris is an attractive alternative to the WS-2902C.
What happened to the AcuRite Atlas Elite?
When AcuRite first announced the AcuRite Atlas several years ago, they also announced the Atlas Elite. At the time, the console was billed as a competitor to the Davis Vantage Pro2. Among the rumored features were built-in UV, light, lightning sensors, and “professional grade housing and instruments.” While the Atlas Elite has disappeared from the company’s site, we’re told it is still in development.
Can you connect AcuRite weather stations to the internet?
Both the Iris and the Atlas connect to the internet via AcuRite Access. You can do this by adding the Access base station or selecting a Wi-Fi-enabled console. We’re big fans of their web and mobile app, although it’s not as feature-packed as other stations, nor does it have smart device connectivity.
Should I wait for the AcuRite Atlas Elite?
We wouldn’t recommend it. AcuRite hasn’t provided any timeline for the Atlas Elite’s release, so it might still be months, if not years, before it appears. We’d recommend purchasing the Atlas instead.
AcuRite weather station comparison
Below we’ve laid out the specifications for the Notos, Iris, and Atlas weather stations. Remember, the Notos is the new name for the 3 in 1, and Iris is the new name for the 5 in 1.
AcuRite Notos vs Iris
The AcuRite 5 in 1, the Iris, is the better of the two weather stations in this comparison. We feel that the Notos is not much more than a glorified digital thermometer. However, its price certainly makes it an attractive alternative to the more expensive stations out there.
If you’re okay with losing rainfall and wind direction and don’t have a lot of space to spare, opt for the Notos. However, if you can afford it, opt for the Iris instead; we think you’ll be happier overall.
AcuRite Iris vs Atlas
Whether you select the AcuRite 5 in 1, the Iris, or the higher-end Atlas comes down to budget. Both support the Access base station to connect to the internet to share weather data, which the Notos does not. They also support all of the most common weather measurements you’d find on just about any good station.
Overall, the Atlas instrumentation is of higher quality, thanks to an included daytime aspirating fan in the sensor housing. In our tests, this made the Atlas more accurate than even the Davis Vantage Vue in temperature and humidity readings. If you’re looking for better accuracy at a price significantly lower than other stations, the Atlas is it.
AcuRite Atlas vs Atlas Elite
It’s tough for us to truly judge how much better the AcuRite Atlas Elite is because it’s yet to release. But we’d venture to guess a lot of the issues in the Atlas would be corrected. With our Atlas, the lightning detection wasn’t as precise as we would have liked, and the rain gauge significantly undercounted rainfall.
AcuRite promises professional-grade instrumentation for the Atlas Elite, so I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
AcuRite vs Ambient Weather
Both AcuRite and Ambient Weather excel at making affordable weather stations, but we prefer Ambient Weather’s weather stations for their accuracy. The Ambient Weather WS-5000 is far more expensive than the AcuRite Atlas, however, it’s a much more accurate weather station. Similarly, the Ambient Weather WS-2902C is competitively priced with the AcuRite Iris but is generally more accurate.
As we said previously, we strongly recommend you not purchase AcuRite products from a retailer. These are lower-quality models of what you see above. Instead, stick with the recommended packages above to get the best value for your money.
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