What Is a Barometer And the Benefits of Owning One
If you want to get a simple but effective tool to help you track sudden weather changes, be more successful when fishing, or tend to your garden better, then a barometer is the ideal weather instrument for your home. Let’s discuss a few things to help you understand more about barometers, their use cases, and why you may need one.
What Is a Barometer?
By definition, a barometer is an instrument measuring atmospheric pressure. Most commonly used in weather forecasting and determining altitude since atmospheric pressure changes will occur as you go further, closer, or below sea level.
The first barometer was invented in 1643 by one of Galileo’s assistants, Evangelista Torricelli. Galileo suggested filling a 4-foot-long glass tube with mercury and to invert it onto a dish. Torricelli observed that some of the mercury did not escape the tube and created a vacuum-like effect. With further observation, he noticed the height of mercury would change from day to day due to atmospheric pressure changes, and from there, the Torricelli Tube (barometer) was born. Let’s look below at more common types of barometers and how they work.
4 Types of Barometers and How They Work
1. Digital Barometer
The most common type of barometer is the digital barometer. These digital devices are equipped with micro-electromechanical (MEMs), also known as detection cells, or chips. These tiny integrated circuits (IC) are sensitive to responding to air pressure.
2. Water Barometer
Also known as weather or storm glass, these devices contain water instead of mercury and have an open-ended spout that uses the force of gravity, the atmospheric pressure changes will either make the liquid rise or fall within the spout.
3. Aneroid Barometer
These barometers are usually circular in form and resemble compasses or clocks. Inside an aneroid barometer contains a small metal box that has most of the air pumped out of it. The metal box will then contract and expand during pressure changes, which moves the needle on the face of the barometer.
4. Mercury Barometer
A sealed vertical glass tube containing mercury which rises or falls to determine atmospheric pressure. Since its inception in 1643, these types of barometers are rarely being used since some countries restrict the sale of mercury.
Now that you have a better understanding of how the barometer came to and read about the basic functionalities of how they work, let’s dive into the use cases and benefits of owning one.
How Is a Barometer Used Today and Its Benefits
Meteorological Weather Forecasting
Atmospheric pressure can be explained as the force with which the atmospheric layers press against the Earth as they are pulled by its gravity. As heavier or lighter weather fronts interact with and replace each other, the atmospheric pressure can change locally.
A sudden change in pressure can be caused by a low-pressure weather front that is coming, which can translate into a drop in temperatures and possible precipitation, or it could signal that the weather might be improving if the pressure rises.
These instruments are usually used by meteorologists to make predictions concerning weather changes and patterns in the short term. However, you don’t have to be a meteorologist to be able to use a barometer.
Home Barometers Are Useful in Planning Your Next Adventure
With a good barometer, you can check out the barometric pressure on the morning of a planned day trip. You can then monitor the device, and any sudden drop in pressure would probably mean that a low-pressure air front is coming, which might make it a good idea to postpone the trip so that you don’t get caught by a storm on the way.
Using a home barometer could give you an early warning sign that a storm is approaching so that you have enough time to prepare. You can then decide to leave for a safe spot or even set up camp quickly so the changing weather finds you prepared.
Garden Barometers Save You Time, Money, and Resources
You can greatly benefit from getting a quality barometer to hang in your garden. With this instrument, you get to see sudden changes in atmospheric pressure so that you can plan accordingly. For example, if you see that the pressure is dropping fast, you might want to postpone planting those seeds.
You can also plan accordingly when you get an early prevention system that could warn you of approaching storms, or sudden drops in temperature, which could help you protect your more fragile plants.
With an accurate barometer, you can also save water in the long run. This is because you can learn to read the signs of approaching rain so you don’t waste water sprinkling your flowers and vegetables only to get pouring rain a couple of hours later.
Barometers are an essential part of any weather station and provide valuable insights into the weather at a hyper-local level. Learn more about our offering of barometers here!