A storm glass is a device used to predict the weather. Since changes in weather influence chemical reactions, you can see how the chemical materials inside the glass react to predict the weather.
How does a storm glass work? It’s quite simple: you create a mixture of chemical components and then observe how they behave when the atmosphere changes. Based on the reaction, you can predict the weather. For example, if the liquid you created stays clear and transparent, the weather should stay bright and clear.
Should you buy a storm glass? The answer as usual is: it depends. However, storm glasses aren’t really accurate, so if you’re looking for accurate weather forecasts, there are better options such as weather stations.
If you are looking for a nice-looking piece of furniture that involves cool chemical reactions, looks good in a more vintage setup, and that can create some interesting discussion, then storm glasses are perfect for you.
Personally, I recommend buy storm glasses if you are looking for a brilliant gift that will capture the giftee’s attention. Also, while not always accurate, they can still help you learn more about weather and the way the atmosphere reacts to changes in weather.
How Do Storm Glasses Work?
A storm glass is a glass tube containing a mixture of ammonium chloride, potassium nitrate, camphor, water, and alcohol.
The liquid resulting of this mix is completely transparent under normal conditions, but the balance is so delicate that even a minor change in weather conditions will change the solubility of the components, creating crystal shapes.
Depending on the type of shapes that form, you can predict upcoming changes in the weather. I say “can” because well, these gadgets, while great fun, aren’t perfectly accurate.
- If the weather is going to stay clear, the liquid inside will remain transparent and no crystals will form
- If storms are coming, the liquid will become cloudy with small spots
- If many crystals form on the bottom of the glass, you can expect snowstorm, and very cold weather, leading to frost
- If the liquid is very cloudy, you should expect rain
- There are also in-between states that will signal stronger or weaker variants of the same weather, so for example you could expect light rain if the liquid is only partially cloudy
As soon as you purchase one, you should let it calibrate itself for about two weeks. This ensures the solution “gets used” to the atmosphere you live in, which will let it react correctly to the weather changes: don’t expect them to work right out of the box.
Do Storm Glasses Actually Work?
They are about 50% accurate, so…yes and no. Granted, nothing can accurately predict the weather, not even the best meteorologists (there is a reason even official weather predictions from the government fail sometimes), but 50% is as good as tossing a coin and using heads / tails to predict whether it’s going to rain tomorrow or not.
Keep in mind that storm glasses were invented over 200 years ago, so it’s only natural that they don’t work as well as you might expect.
As said in the introduction, they are more of a cool looking piece of furniture than actual weather predictors. They do look very nice though.
Getting the Most Out of Your Storm Glass
Aside from letting it calibrate, there are best practice to follow to maximize your storm glass’ accuracy.
First off, place it indoor. While it’s true that indoor conditions can affect the way the solution behaves, it’s also true that these devices are made specifically to be used indoors. The atmosphere outside can change too quickly for the storm glass to work correctly.
Secondly, place your storm glass next to a window, but one that gets no direct sunlight. Temperature has a strong influence on the solution, so having the sun directly hit the glass, which has an amplifying effect on sun rays, is going to make the device unable to do its job.
Last, accept that it’s not going to work perfectly every time. Use it to make accurate guesses, and to learn how the atmosphere changes depending on weather conditions, rather than relying on it.
What Makes a Storm Glass Good?
This is a hard question to answer. Mostly because figuring out a series of objective criteria when it comes to storm glasses is hard.
Even the best storm glasses only have an accuracy of about 55% in perfect conditions, so accuracy is a bit of an iffy topic. However, considering the mixture that lies inside them, safety and build quality still impact the final decision.
I do have a couple of pointers for you, just keep reading the article.
You’ve read it a billion times on this guide already. Storm glasses are not accurate. Cool, but that doesn’t mean you should settle for any storm glass. There are actually storm glasses that offer slightly higher accuracy compared to others.
You shouldn’t fully rely on them to predict the weather, but they should at least be serviceable. I included accuracy as an important ranking factor for this very reason.
Safety is a big concern when you are working with liquids such as the ones typically found in a storm glass. Specifically, are they easy to replace? What about potential health hazards?
The solution inside storm glasses is generally somewhat safe, as in it won’t release any weird toxin in the air or anything like that, but please do not touch it directly with your skin.
Safety is the #1 concern when it comes to chemical mixtures, but all storm glasses on this list are reasonably safe.
Since you are working with chemical components, it is important that the storm glass itself is resistant. You do not want potassium nitrate on your carpet, trust me.
These items are always placed indoor so as long as you are careful it shouldn’t be an issue, but as usual, better to be safe than sorry. Make sure to place your storm glass on a place where it’s not easy to knock down, especially from something that could be careless around it, like a pet or a kid.
Some storm glasses are extra fancy, but they aren’t really worth their cost. I considered a mix of price and quality when evaluating items on this list.
These devices are inexpensive for the most part, so everyone should be able to purchase one of them.
The 7 best storm glasses: Detailed Reviews
1. AcuRite 00795A2 Galileo: Great Looking and Accurate
The AcuRite Galileo is a great addition to any home looking to have a vintage-looking weather station. Plus, it works great! It’s not a proper storm glass per se, as it’s a Galileo thermometer, which is why it’s more accurate.
So why is it on this list? Well, the reason is that it follows the same principle as a storm glass and looks just as stylish, so it felt wrong to not include one.
The colored liquids inside the glass tube rise or fall depending temperature changes and offer accurate readings, while the barometer fills up the globe when the pressure rises.
It also looks slick, what’s there not to love?
Actually, there is one thing. It doesn’t really work like other storm glasses, as in you are missing out on seeing the crystals forming inside the liquid, which kind of defeats the point. The coolest thing about storm glasses is watching the shapes of the crystals, but you don’t get those in this storm glass. Sad.
If you are looking for an accurate weather predictor, get the AcuRite Galileo Thermometer today.
2. GGPOWER Storm Glass: Excellent and Affordable Storm Glass
The GGPOWER Storm Glass is a great purchase for anyone looking for a vintage-looking piece of furniture that doubles down as a conversation piece. The crystal in the liquids assume all kind of cool forms, and you can easily tell what kind of weather to expect based on the shapes.
It’s a typical storm glass, so don’t expect accurate readings, as I said earlier, it’s more of a cool-looking gadget than a reliable weather predictor. Nonetheless, it’s a nice purchase, especially as a gift.
Be careful of the size before purchasing one though. You don’t want to accidentally knock it down while moving, since you don’t want the solution in it to go outside of the glass.
Are you looking for a simple storm glass without bells and whistles? Get the GGPOWER storm glass now.
3. FOVIUPET Storm Glass Weather Barometer: Simply Beautiful
The FOVIUPET Storm Glass is an excellent purchase for anyone looking to add a little more color to their home. It works like a regular storm glass, but it also has a switch that turns on the light on the wood base, which changes the colors of the storm glass’ content.
The colors are wonderful, and the storm glass works about as well as you’d expect from a storm glass. The various shapes are breathtaking when colored, making this storm glass an excellent gift for everyone.
My only gripe with this item is that it is quite small, which is why it’s not higher on this list. Still, it’s an excellent purchase, especially as a gift.
Buy your FOVIUPET Storm Glass now, and enjoy its beautiful looks!
4. Eon Concepts Storm Glass: Elegant and Pretty
If you’re looking for a special gift that will warm someone’s heart, then look no further than the Eon Concepts storm glass. This is a very cool looking storm glass that you can connect via USB to turn on lights of various types.
It’s an excellent pick for anyone looking to add a bit of color and exoticness to their home. Accuracy wise it is pretty decent…when it works. This item’s main issue is that the crystals don’t form at all sometimes, which is a shame, because when they do it’s pretty accurate.
Nonetheless, it’s a lovely gift and something I recommend to anyone looking for a nice mix of cool-looking and functional tool.
Get yours today and impress your friends with this elegant storm glass.
5. Liliy’s Home Analog Weather Station: Multi-Use Storm Glass
This is a stylish and useful gadget that will fit perfectly into houses going for a more vintage look. This weather station includes a Galileo thermometer, a clock, a hygrometer, and a storm glass. What’s there not to love?
Well, nothing really. This is absolutely a killer purchase for anyone looking for a storm glass. Everything works great, and you can use it to measure humidity, predict the weather, and check the temperature, as well as the time.
If you were looking for an efficient piece of equipment that could do many things at once, you’ve found the perfect one. Lily’s Home weather station won’t let you down.
This is a great addition to any home, as it has so much utility. Get yours today.
6. GM GMISS Storm Glass: Functional and Pretty
The GMISS doesn’t look much different from other storm glasses on this list, so why is it on here? The reason is the small LCD display on the wood base that informs you about the temperature and current level of humidity, which is always a nice touch.
As for accuracy well, it’s about the same you’d expect from other storm glasses: roughly 50%. The information displayed by the LCD screen is accurate, and it’s enough to differentiate the product from other items on this list.
Who should buy this storm glass? Anyone looking for a stylish thermometer that could also help predict the weather…when it works.
Buy it today, you won’t regret it.
7. Yosoo Weather Forecast Crystal Bottle: Great Centerpiece Storm Glass
You might be wondering what makes the Yosoo storm glass different from the others on this list. The reason is mostly how it looks.
It’s a great addition to any table or desktop, and it works like every other storm glass, which is quite the feat considering that these items tend to not work properly.
This makes for a super pretty gift to anyone. It’s also affordable, so why aren’t you getting one right now? It works, it’s cool, and it’s an exotic gift that will help you differentiate yourself.
Are you convinced? Purchase your Yosoo Crystal Bottle now!
Making this list was hard, because picking the best storm glass isn’t easy when the gadget itself is flawed to begin with. When you are dealing with items with such a low accuracy, picking one over the other is no easy task.
Should you get a storm glass? Absolutely! They might not be great at predicting the weather, but they look great, and can even be an introduction to chemistry for children. Learning how a glass storm operates is great fun and a great starting point to learn how various chemical agents react, and why.
What are you waiting for? Get your very own storm glass today, and enjoy crazy weather predictions, and a vintage-looking piece of furniture that will look cool in any environment!