A Weather Instrument is an Unexpected and Unforgettable Gift to Give this Holiday Season—and Beyond.

December 5, 2022

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Text by Maria LaPiana

If gift-giving gives you a headache, or if your holiday list includes that proverbial person who has everything, here’s an idea: step away from the mall. Better yet, step outside, because inspiration is hiding in plain sight. Hint: it’s the weather. “There are a surprising number of people out there who are fascinated by the weather,” according to Peter Kilgore, president of Maximum Weather Instruments. So, while a gift that measures the weather may not be on your radar (yet), it’s one of the most unexpected and welcome heirloom-quality gifts you can give.

Why we love all things weather

When the launch of The Weather Channel was announced in 1981, The Washington Post reported that the news was “met with an audible groan.” At the time, few were sold on the idea of twenty-four-seven weather reports, and even fewer imagined the channel would last, let alone thrive, for forty-plus years (and counting).

Kilgore isn’t surprised at all. “They really were onto something,” says Kilgore, whose company is based in New Bedford, Massachusetts. “Think about it: we make more decisions based on the weather every day than you realize,” he says. ‘How should I dress today?’  ‘Should I plan an outdoor activity in the morning or afternoon?’  ‘Can I postpone yardwork until tomorrow?’  ‘Is today a good day to wash the car?’ All of these questions are answered by the weather forecast.”

And because the weather is always top of mind, it makes sense that quality weather instruments—thermometers, barometers, hygrometers, and the like—would make appealing, heirloom-gift ideas. They surprise and delight, and they have longevity, says Kilgore: “You’ll use them every day, all year long.”

An heirloom-quality weather instrument is the perfect gift

Maximum has been measuring the weather since 1968. The company’s earliest gadgets included a wind-speed and wind-direction instrument for use at home or at sea, and a full line of matching instruments—an electronic remote thermometer, a barometer, a clock, and a tide clock. Today, the company offers everything from single clocks to Wi-Fi weather stations with exterior sensors that measure wind and rain. “We can provide a simple piece of information or a complete understanding of your local weather conditions,” says Kilgore. “With the right combination of instruments, we can help you form an accurate weather forecast for your own backyard, not the nearest city, for the next few hours or days.”

Still, you may be wondering: a thermometer for the holidays? Absolutely, says Kilgore, who is quick to point out that weather instruments make welcome gifts for any occasion—from weddings and housewarmings to graduations and retirements—or for no occasion at all.

Montauk Station

These are handcrafted, sophisticated, professional instruments. “Many people think of them as functional artwork,” says Kilgore. Functional, because a three-instrument, preconfigured weather station allows you to track up to six local weather conditions at one time. And beautiful because of its classic, minimalist design, and you get to choose the display type (digital or analog), dial color (black or silver), and wood-panel color (oak or mahogany).

How to gift a weather instrument for the holidays

“Your choice depends on what you’re looking to do with the information you will be gathering,” says Kilgore. Basic clocks and barometers are easy to set up and use almost instantly. “People appreciate the information they can get from a time-and-tide clock, and they love the accuracy of a barometer, once they learn how to read it,” he says.  (A needle moving clockwise generally means an improvement in your local weather, and a needle moving counterclockwise generally means the opposite.)

Shown left to right: Predictor Barometer, Harbormaster Tide Clock, and Proteus Barometer

For your favorite weather aficionado, or someone you think would enjoy a deeper dive, consider high-tech, processor-based digital instruments that measure wind, temperature, rain, humidity, time, and tide; these also provide information like highs, lows, and averages.

Choose quality, accuracy, and expertise

With the weather obviously all around us, you can get your information from any number of sources. Some are free, like weather.com, or inexpensive, like a wall-mounted thermometer outside your kitchen window. Some satellite-based instruments are at the very high end of the price range.

Maximum sits somewhere in between. “Our instruments are not inexpensive, but they are priced according to what they provide,” Kilgore says. “They’re highly accurate instruments that provide reliable information about your local weather. They’re attractive and can provide decades of enjoyment for those who own them.”

Weather is surprisingly easy to understand, but the company doesn’t make any assumptions.

Maximum has an online Learning Center that includes libraries of information and videos about weather instruments and how they work. It’s simple, says Kilgore: “The more you know, the more you’ll improve your awareness of weather, that fascinating natural phenomenon that has such an impact on everything we do.”

Maximum Weather Instruments
New Bedford, MA


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