How to Make a Homemade Barometer

As gardeners, what is happening with the weather is very important to us, because it can affect the plants we grow. If we know that bad weather is expected – a frost or high winds for example, we can take steps to protect some of our more tender plants. It is easy to make a barometer of your own to help forecast the weather – you might even be better at it than the weather bureau!

You will need:

  • an empty glass jar e.g. a coffee jar
  • a balloon
  • a strong rubber band
  • a drinking straw
  • a small piece of paper
  • scissors
  • sticky tape

Here’s what you do:

  1. Cut the neck off the balloon.
  2. Remove the lid of the jar. Stretch the balloon tightly over the mouth of the jar.
  3. Secure the balloon with the rubber band so that it forms a flat, air-tight seal on the jar.
  4. Cut a small triangular piece of paper to form an arrow head for the straw.
  5. Snip one end of the straw cross ways to make a 1/4″ slit in each side. Slide the paper arrow head into the slits.
  6. Place the other end of the straw at the center of the covering of the jar formed by the balloon. Attach the straw to the balloon with a piece of sticky tape so that one end is at the center of the jar and the other extends over the edge.
  7. A sheltered spot outdoors e.g. a balcony is a good spot to put your barometer.

When the air pressure is HIGH it will push in on the balloon and the cover will be sucked inwards, forming a saucer shape. This will make the arrow point UP. This means fine weather is on the way – good for gardening but, at this time of year, if the air is still, there could be a frost.

When the air pressure is LOW the cover will be puffed out and the arrow will point DOWN. Unsettled weather with rain can be expected. You may not need to water today.

I haven’t made this yet, but there are some photos at Make a Barometer if it helps you get the idea better! Have fun!

The Ready Store
"The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patient in the care of the human frame, in diet and in the cause and prevention of disease" ~ Thomas Jefferson

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