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Making weather watching everybody's business

WeatherBug unveils sensors for budding meteorologists and neighborhood cloud-gazers. Photo: Bringing the weather to your desktop

WeatherBug has debuted a new class of sensors that allow moonlighting meteorologists to launch personal weather stations in their own backyards.

WeatherBug, part of AWS Convergence Technologies, operates a service that collates data from more than 7,000 of its own stations and 1,000 Webcams.

The new sensors seek to change the way people receive live neighborhood weather information. Using the new sensors, developed in partnership with Hayward, Calif.-based Davis Instruments, ordinary people can now track weather from their backyards and upload the information on community channels.

"The old media model where content providers just push content out has given way to a new era of participation where consumers and content providers of news work together toward a larger collective goal," AWS CEO Bob Marshall said in a release.

The sensors can track inside and outside temperatures, wind speed and direction, wind chill and 12 other weather variables in real-time. Each model comes with a desktop console that shows live backyard weather data and a desktop software tool, WeatherBug Plus.

They come in three different ranges--Basic, Advanced and Ultimate. While Basic, priced at $349, transmits weather data from outdoor sensors to a desktop through cables, the two higher-end models are wireless and solar powered, a WeatherBug spokesperson said.

The Advanced model costs $749, while the Ultimate--which adds solar radiation monitors and UV sensors--costs $1,149.