Ambient WS5000 Ultrasonic wind sensor vs Tempest Sonic wind sensor

Hello, was just wondering what the pros and cons were between these two?



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Where I live the Cockatoo birds chew everything. They sit on the Tempest and try to chew it but they can not get their beaks into the wind gap to break the top off. They wreck spinning cup anemometers within a year. I reckon they would easily snap the supports of any sonic anemometer like the ambient or the ecowitt. I tested the accuracy of the Tempest with it mounted on my car and it was spot on to the km. And I was using a gps as reference. Sorry I have not bought an Ambient station to be able to confirm if the Cockatoos will destroy it. I will stick with the Tempest for now.
Cheers Ian :slight_smile:

Interesting article but I wonder how they compared distances between sensor and base station or hub. They say quote:

What is the transmission distance of my weather station?

It varies from manufacturer to manufacturer, but you typically can place your sensors up to 100 feet away from your station’s console or base unit without any problems. The best home weather stations can transmit data up to 300 feet away in some cases!"

The Tempest goes much further in line of sight. I tested it to about 5 times that distance! And I have a Sky the earlier model sonic anemometer from Weatherflow running at over 15,000 feet from the hub!
But I have not tested any other manufacturers ultrasonic anemometers max distances from their ‘hub’ or connection to the internet.
Cheers Ian :slight_smile:

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Okay, so it seems to me that nobody really responded to the pros/cons in in great detail. So I have been searching online for reviews of both the Weatherflow Tempest and the Ambient Weather WS-5000.

Something that surprises me is what each company/developer gives in their weather station specifications concerning accuracy. It’s like nobody is really paying attention to the details! When comparing temperature, wind, and barometric accuracy the specifications for each clearly show that the Tempest is slightly more accurate. For rain accumulation accuracy the Ambient Weather WS-5000 shows +/-5% and the Weatherflow Tempest at +/-10%. However, with the Ambient Weather WS-2902 and the WS-2000 for rain accumulation accuracy, it is the same as the Tempest at +/-10%. So with the exception of rain accumulation accuracy the Tempest shows it to be slightly more accurate than the WS-5000. So what is the reality of accuracy? I honestly don’t think either system has been field tested long enough to make a clear determination.

What I do see with the Tempest is that it has no moving parts, and the lightning sensor is built into the station itself, not an add-on, and the price for the Tempest is $329.

The price for the WS-5000 is $439 and the separate lightning detection sensor is an additional $52.

Here is another thing to consider, I have owned and operated an original Ambient Weather WS-2902 for 4 years now, it was installed in December of 2017. The solar power cell on top of the unit is completely corroded and is now having charging issues. Both the wind speed and direction components are cracked on the top round portion where the mounting screws sit to attach them to the sensor shafts. I had to initially calibrate the temperatures and barometric pressures on the WS-2902 and over a 4 year period they are now off by several degrees and millibars/inHG again. When I made contact with Ambient Weather support about my failing WS-2902, the only response I got was, “sorry about your luck”, “purchase another weather station”!

So as of right now, I’m not real thrilled about the accuracy, longevity, or customer support of Ambient Weather products. Ambient Weather has been in business since 1998, Weatherflow since 2019. Again, I don’t believe that enough time has been given to Weatherflow’s Tempest weather station to give it a fair review, not to mention how well they will support their customer base for their products. Ambient Weather has been around for a long time, but it doesn’t necessarily make them or their products better. You can put lipstick on a pig, but at the end of the day, it’s still just a pig! Of course, just my opinion and I am not a meteorologist, just a weather geek and a lowly IS/IT wrench monkey :slight_smile:


I have both and the ambient will catch wind gusts better than the Tempest. The WS-5000 may be sampling faster than the tempest because the WS5000 is reporting higher gusts than the Tempest.

The question was comparing the ultrasonic anemometers.
An interesting question because many of us have given up replacing spinning cup anemometers and are purchasing ultrasonic anemometers which have dropped in price over the past few years. That is why I chose a Sky and then a Tempest because wind readings are most important and to get an ultrasonic anemometer for that price was a bargain compared to what others were available at the time.
But we are learning the issues a sonic anemometer has which is not an issue for spinning cups. Like 100 % humidity light misty rain may create water droplets or spiders crawl in or birds chew the supporting posts and break the top off, or another version I believe that a seperate power supply battery powers the anemometer and may require replacing in the Davis for example.
Cheers Ian :slight_smile:

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I guess I have been lucky so far. I have birds feeders hanging in a nearby sycamore tree and Bluebird nest boxes on the same fence line near both the Tempest and the WS-2902 but have never had an issue where the birds will sit on top of the stations. Spiders on the other hand can be a bit of a nuisance, but with normal maintenance I can remove them. My Ambient Weather WS-2902 went into service on December 2017 and has lasted for 4 years. I live in Northeast Florida and the 2902 even made it through hurricane Irma. However it has seen it’s better days and I just purchased a new Ambient Weather WS-2000 with the Lightning sensor add-on. I want to keep a traditional weather station to test with the Tempest. I should have the my new WS-2000 in service some time next week and will replace the old round post and mount bringing it up to the same height as the Tempest (see photo, it was foggy that morning). After this I can begin to make better comparisons between the two stations. It is strange to me how that some people are having more issues with the haptic rain sensor and the ultrasonic wind sensor than others. Both of my stations are out in the open in a grass field/pasture and prevailing winds tend to move in from the East and Northeast almost year round. I have not had any rainfall since I put the Tempest in service on December 23rd. The wind measurements seem to be insanely sensitive and I can also check this with a handheld WEATHERmeter. Wind direction has been very stable and accurate in my opinion thus far. Heck, if you fart near this thing, it will register it! The Ambient WS-2902 has a difficult time measuring the very light wind speeds. The anemometer has to get enough wind to get it started turning before it registers. Some of the other measurements can be similar but keep in mind that my 2902 is worn out and has lost much of its accuracy. I have a lot testing to do before I can give the Tempest an opinion on its performance compared to a traditional weather station. This is new cutting edge technology to me and until I get some some good measurements its kind of hard to weigh in on performance. Either way, I like reading the post here in the community about experience people are having with their Tempest and Sky.