Thermometers & Atmosphere

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Determining Temperature is Only Part of the Experience

A Basic Understanding of the Atmosphere Around the Investigation

The infrared (IR) thermometer has become a popular tool for taking surface temperature measurements and offers convenience and other advantages, like instantaneous readings. However one must stop and think what an IR Thermometer really gives you in the way of information – and that’s surface temperature of the item you targeted. Is that really useful? Sometimes, but not often.

So great care must be taken to make certain that their use does not offer misleading information in your investigation. What you’re really needing is surface air information, with pinpoint accuracy, on a regular basis. This, along with a detailed report can provide a lot of information about a purported haunt, as surface temperatures are basically useless in determining cold spots caused by a paranormal event. They will however, notify you of the surface temperature around suspected draft location that could be caused by ambient temperatures in a room which fluctuate. Thus since an IR thermometer only measures surface temperature, an internal-temperature measuring device, such as a probe-thermometer, or digital ambient thermometer (our tool of choice) is still required in getting an accurate picture of the surrounding atmospheric information (air temperature & humidity) before, during and after, the investigation.

Infrared Thermometers

All matter- liquid, solid, or gas–constantly exchanges thermal energy in the form of electromagnetic radiation with its surroundings. If there is a temperature difference between the object in question and its surroundings, there will be a net energy transfer in the form of heat. This means that a colder object will be warmed at the expense of its surroundings, and a warmer object cooled. If the object in question is at the same temperature as its surrounding, the net radiation energy exchange will be zero. In either case, the characteristic spectrum of the radiation depends on the object and its surroundings’ absolute temperatures which is a relative to absolute zero (0 K, ? it’s defined as 0° K, Kelvin, −273.15° C, Celsius , −459.67° F, Fahrenheit). Infrared thermometers take advantage of this ‘radiation dependence’ on temperature to produce a value for the targeted object and displays the results for the operator to read. This device is pricey and can run from about $100-250 USD.

Ambient Thermometers

Ambient temperature is a non-specific phrase used to describe the surrounding air temperature. Normally, when taking the temperature with an ambient thermometer, you are getting a general idea of the temperature of the surrounding air without taking into account the maximum and minimum temperatures experienced during an investigation vigil. Nor do many paranormal investigators take into account the humidity level or wind (including drafts, fans, breeze, etc.) in the air. The amount of moisture (mugginess) or humidity in the air can create higher or lower temperature readings that will cause the heat index to increase or decrease accordingly. Just as winds can also play a role in how cold a temperature will feel to a human, or ‘wind chill factor.’ This phenomenon can cause the air to have a ‘perceived’ variance in the temperature.

To measure the ambient air temperature, our team uses an ambient digital thermometer that will provide both the ambient temperature and humidity level instantaneously with the push of a button. Not only is this tool important, it’s less expensive than the laser infrared thermometer above, and provides information relevant to the investigation. Not to mention they only cost around $10-15 USD. Even though there are other devices that are more expensive (on the left), the pocket probe (on the right) is by far our project’s favorite by nearly all our research investigators on the team.

Sunroad 6-in-1 Digital Compass

Multi-Function Compass with barometer, altimeter, weather, temperature and time Compact and convenient clip-on design with back-lit LCD for use day or night Perfect gadget for the paranormal researcher.

Multi-Function Hiking Tools like this Sunroad brand Digital Compass/Altimeter/Thermometer/Barometer/Clock/Weather Station + More make outdoor recreation sports like climbing & exploring safer and more fun. Which makes this a great gift for yourself or someone you love.

The weather forecast function is based on the rate of change of barometric pressure. This trend is one of several tools to predict weather 24 to 48 hours in advance. In general, if the rate of change of pressure increases, the weather is improving (sunny). If the rate of change of pressure decreases, the weather is degrading (cloudy or rainy). If the rate of change is relatively steady, the weather should continue to be the same. The reason the current conditions may not match the forecast icon is because the prediction is for 24-48 hours in advance. In some locations, this prediction may be less or more accurate. Its accuracy can be improved by temporarily being stationary (not changing altitude).

The Altimeter feature measures the air pressure and predicts the altitude based on this measurement. This is referred to as “Pressure Altitude”, a measure which is profoundly affected by the true altitude and to a lesser extent, changes in the weather, often referred to as barometric pressure changes. Thus, your Pressure Altitude can change without changing your position. These changes can be as great as a few hundred feet (because the changes due to weather are more pronounced at higher altitude). To offset the difference between Pressure Altitude and True Altitude, you should calibrate the device at a known altitude before going on your hike.

The unit provides quick and accurate access to vital information such as:

  • Directions: Digital Compass to help you find your way safely
  • Weather: 12-to-24-hour weather condition forecast
  • Altitude: Range from -2,300 to 29,500 feet, with Altitude History Record, metric-imperial measurement switch, and more
  • Barometer: Measure atmospheric pressure
  • Thermometer: Provides you with the current temperature
  • Time: Quick and convenient access to time with hour, minute and seconds

Manufacturer Specifications

Product Description: 6-in-1 multifunction mini digital compass/altimeter
Screen: 1.2 inch digital LCD screen with back-light.


  • Range from -2300 feet to 29500 feet (-700M ~ 8992M)
  • Resolution of 1 meter or 3 feet
  • Meter and feet units
  • Absolute sea level altitude measurement
  • Relative altitude measurement
  • Zero clearing function in relative altitude measurement
  • Altitude record
  • Altitude calibration Barometer:
  • Range from 300 mbar to 1100 mbar
  • Accurate within 1 mbar Digital Compass:
  • External magnetic field calibration
  • Magnetic declination setting and high-accuracy
  • High accuracy, +/- 3 degrees Thermometer:
  • Provides you with the current temperature, -10C to +60C range with Celsius and Fahrenheit options Weather Forecast:
  • The weather forecast for next 12 to 24 hours
  • 4 weather status indicating, Sunny Hot / Sunny Moderate / Cloudy / Rain /
  • Time with hour, minute, seconds
  • 24h or 12h format display

Other Specifications
Back-light: 5 seconds blue LED
Power Supply: CR2032 button battery (included)
Overall Size: 63 x 53 x 15 mm
Approximately:  $59.99