We’ve heard a lot about inflation and component shortages over the past several months, from cars to homes and even our groceries. But there’s another place inflation seems to be showing up: weather station prices.
Given that we regularly monitor Amazon for changes in the availability of the products we recommend, we can spot trends in availability and weather station prices. It was difficult to purchase a weather station this summer: component shortages are likely to blame for many models going out of stock in July and August.
But as stock is returning, we’ve noticed a trend of higher prices, most between 5-10%, but one station has gone up in price by close to 20%! That’s a massive jump. Are these prices here to stay? We think so, and prices might continue going up.
Why are weather station prices going up?
The core reason likely has much to do with continuing component shortages due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s affecting just about anything with electronic components, including new cars. These conditions will likely last into next year, which has dramatically slowed the manufacturing of just about anything electronic.
Will weather station prices come back down?
It’s hard to say at this point. Some weather stations we feature rarely go on sale, so these higher prices are likely here to stay for the foreseeable future. With the holiday season coming up, there will likely be sales, but with continuing component shortages, they might not be as good as in previous years.
Have the price changes affected your recommendations?
Somewhat, yes. We’re finalizing our lists for the holiday shopping season. Still, in weather stations, we now recommend the Ambient Weather WS-2000 over the WS-5000 and recommend the WeatherFlow Tempest as the best smart home weather station. With price increases elsewhere, we’re taking a second look at all of our recommendations to ensure you’re getting the best value.
Price Increases We’ve Found
The most significant price increase is Ambient Weather’s WS-5000. According to our price tracker, ambient raised the price $30 in early spring from its $300 launch price, followed by a $40 increase at the beginning of the summer. But the latest price hike, $50, is the biggest yet (a 20% increase). In fairness to Ambient Weather, some of this may be due to better components and not just “inflation:” Ambient claims the latest WS-5000’s shipped has three times the radio range of previous models.
Ambient’s other stations aren’t as affected: the WS-2000 jumped 5% in February (although it was an outstanding Prime Day deal at $230 — we’re watching this one for a Black Friday special), and the WS-2902C is still the same price that it’s been for months on Amazon.
Davis stations have also started to go up in price on Amazon, although they remain a much better deal than buying them directly from the company. The Vantage Vue and WeatherLink package that’s our top recommendation went up a little over $20 late last month, a 6.5% increase. In comparison, the higher-end Vantage Pro2 is now $50 more expensive, a 6% increase according to our Price Tracker (although a cheaper sensor suite/WeatherLink Live bundle is also available).
So far, there are changes to AcuRite weather station prices we’ve spotted. The Notos and Iris models we recommend have generally stayed the same price, and the Atlas is the same price since launch: $300. The WeatherFlow Tempest price also remains unchanged as well, according to our price tracker data.
What are the best weather station deals right now?
With weather station prices going up, we’ve noticed a definite shift in the weather stations our readers ultimately buy after reading our reviews over the summer. The Ambient Weather WS-5000 was by far the top-selling weather station for much of the first part of 2021, but the new higher price tag seems to scare some away.
Here are the top three weather stations our readers have been buying recently.
Ambient Weather WS-2902C
We haven’t seen a station yet in the WS-2902C’s price point that offers similar functionality, especially when it comes to smart homes. The console is a bit simplistic, though, its biggest downfall.
Ambient Weather WS-2000
The WS-2000 is an odd one: kind of like a mix between the WS-2902C and the WS-5000. The big difference is the console, which is far more helpful and functional.
We’re currently retesting the WeatherFlow Tempest, as we’ve seen several positive reviews on some fixes that have been rolled out for the haptic rain sensor. Also, its lightning detection capabilities are phenomenal.
- Super quick setup
- Outstanding lightning detection
- Fairly accurate instrumentation
- Ready for the smart home
- Haptic rain sensor doesn’t measure rainfall accurately enough
- No expandability
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