Monday, December 17, 2012

Last Minute Weather Gifts

So, with one week until Christmas, some people may still have some shopping to do. But what if the person your shopping for is a weather geek? Well, fear not, for we have a last minute shopping guide to hopefully make this a merry meteorological holiday season. Now, here’s the catch. Some of these gifts need to be shipped, but many of these items are deliverable before Christmas, if you order before a certain date.  Also, this shopping guide was just done online and none of these products are specifically endorsed by -- these are merely suggestions!

The first item on our list comes from La Crosse Technologies. It’s a handheld anemometer (Product Number: EA-3010U) and is advertised on Target’s website for about $31. Not only does it measure wind, it also has a temperature sensor and can calculate wind chill. It has a fairly large display that can scroll through wind speed (in knots, m/s, mph and kph), temperature (in Celsius or Fahrenheit), maximum temperature and wind chill as well as a display on the side of the Beaufort Scale. Many reviews I read highlighted the ease of use with this device, and that it’s perfect for the average weather enthusiast. If you’re interested in this, you better hurry. Target offers “seasonal shipping” to get it by Christmas, if you order by December 19th.


If you’re looking for something to alert you of severe weather, I have two options for you. First, RadioShack offers their own brand of weather radio with SAME. Their desktop version (Model Number: 1200991) runs about $43. SAME, or Specific Area Message Encoding, let’s you program your weather radio to your county or a few counties. RadioShack’s model lets you receive all 7 channels and has an antenna with up to a 50-mile range. Options include voice or tone alert, alarm clock and battery backup. Radio also features a dot-matrix LCD display to also let you know what type of alert it is and what it’s for, as well as a clock when on standby.

Personal Photo
The other option is for anyone with a smartphone, whether iPhone or Android. The iMap Radio app will alert you whenever an advisory, watch or warning is issued for your location or a pre-loaded location. I use this app myself and I like the way works. It app will issue a loud beep and a mechanical voice will announce the alert. When you open it, a map will pop up and drop a pin on your location with a radar pre-loaded. You also have the option to email the alert to someone or post it to twitter. You can also open full screen map or read the latest SPC Convective Outlooks. The iMap Weather Radio app will cost you about $10 in the Apple App Store and on Google Play.

For the serious weather geek, and that a term of endearment, Walmart has a wireless weather station from AcuRite. It’s called the AcuRite 8” Professional Digital Weather Center (Model Number: 01010W, Walmart Number: 001147502) and it runs about $100. This weather station includes an outdoor sensor (with anemometer and rain gauge) and indoor display. In all, the weather station measures indoor and outdoor temperature (with daily highs and lows), barometric pressure (with history chart), wind speed and direction, rainfall, heat index, wind chill and dew point. The outdoor sensor run off solar power too. The indoor display also shows the forecast for the next 12 to 24 hours and is also able to program weather alerts.

Finally, for the junior forecaster in your family, Toys R Us has item to help them discover their passion. The Storm Chaser Portable Weather Pod (SKU: F03A476E) costs about $10 and measures temperature and wind, and also has a detachable rain gauge. The anemometer arms/cups fold in and the wind vane also detaches for easy storage. There’s also a compass attached to the pod. This gift is perfect for the junior meteorologist in your family who like to spend time staring up at the sky. I would have loved this when I was younger... I still want it!

In all, there are still a pleathora of weather-related gifts out there.  We hope that you have a very safe and happy holiday season and thanks for a great year at  Here's to a great 2013!