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  • Most Reliable Weather Data

    I'm curious if those of you who have weather stations have done comparisons of your actual temps to those forecast by different sites to see which is the most accurate?

    I'm doing a test this week and I'm comparing the actual highs and lows of my weather station to the forecasts of the following sites:

    weather.gov
    weather.com
    accuweather
    weatherunderground
    my 3 local network websites

    I could probably write scripts to parse them all and save them and constantly compare them on an ongoing basis, but frankly, right now I'm lazy. It isn't that big of a deal to check and record them manually for a week. I know it's not that long of a sample size, but good enough for now. Perhaps I'll write the scripts later and use an average of them all for the forecast.

    I'm really curious to see if one is closer to the other in general and wondered if anyone had done the same. Maybe a few of us could try it and see what, if any, conclusions we come to.

  • #2
    Actually, Environment Canada (government agency) does that for me.
    I upload to Weather Underground at five second intervals. EnvCan seems to be making use of such data as on a couple of occasions when my station has gone awry I've had emails from them asking me to kindly take a look at things. They've even offered assistance. It looks like they compare data from local sites and airports, etc. for their analysis.
    Real courage is not securing your Wi-Fi network.

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    • #3
      Your post and looking at the live data from two weather instruments has convinced me to put in just the forecast wind speeds to see what kind of differences I see with the various weather services in the area.

      The forecast data in the MW changes by the hour most likely because of the great lakes effects on our weather.
      - Pete

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Pete View Post
        ... changes by the hour most likely because of the great lakes effects on our weather.
        Feel my pain.... I wouldn't count on a weatherstation in my own yard....
        Paul

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        • #5
          Funny you mention that.

          I tend to pay more attention to my own weather data and multiple internet services making up (?) my own forecasts and tend to ignore the local media's weather forecasts.

          About 3 years ago the driveway cam picked up a small wind / storm thing between houses.

          I noticed that in the recorded video was my neighbors glass patio table flying up in the air between houses. They went to a wrought iron patio set after that (uncomfortable but very heavy).
          - Pete

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Pete View Post
            Funny you mention that.

            I tend to pay more attention to my own weather data and multiple internet services making up (?) my own forecasts and tend to ignore the local media's weather forecasts.
            Each morning for my wake up announcement I speak the day's forcast. And now with weather.com's xml feed going bye-bye for people who don't want to pay for it, I was looking for alternatives. There seems to be a lot of sources so I'm really curious to see which one is the most accurate (if there is such a thing).

            I'd guess WeatherUnderground's BestForecast should be close given it's supposed to be using the data all of us with weather stations are providing it, but I'd like to prove that theory. The chance of rain predictions would be tougher, but for now I'm just zeroing in on the temps, and trying to decide who's 7 day forecast to display or just make my own by averaging several of them.


            Originally posted by Pete View Post
            About 3 years ago the driveway cam picked up a small wind / storm thing between houses.

            I noticed that in the recorded video was my neighbors glass patio table flying up in the air between houses. They went to a wrought iron patio set after that (uncomfortable but very heavy).
            That is scary! Lucky it didn't go through your house or car! I wish I had a video of when that tree fell on my weather station.

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            • #7
              Pete-

              The reality is that things like gusty winds are hard for me to deal with. I use ultraweather bug with a station 1 1/2 miles from my house. From just observing it seems close on when things are windy.

              One of the biggest things I use it for is determining when to run sprinklers. If its windy, that's bad, it blows all over the place...except the grass (In hindsight, the rainbird impact type sprinklers were less affected by wind than the newer gear drive units I put in).

              I can only put off watering so long in the summer, and hot windy days leave my yard wanting... and wilting. Watering takes a few hours for my yard and windgusts come and go in 10 minutes. I really don't want to get into start/stop/start up again/stop/start up again/stop/start up again/stop... etc

              I guess I'm saying there is a point after which micrometerology "is what it is" and detailed information is only so useful.
              Paul

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              • #8
                Our subdivision is where an old farm used to be many years ago and is about 11 years old or so. We have odd wind gusts occassionally.

                I like WUN mostly because of the number of feeds from numerous home weather stations. For satellite pictures my favorite is Unisys weather (same satellite pics though that everyone else uses).

                One day around 7 years ago while I was outside the neighbor was getting her mail. Typically a kind of normal thing. A bit of construction debris got caught up in the wind (piece of cardboard with wooden pieces attached to it) came flying out of nowhere; knocked her down and took out her mail box. She yelped and I went to see if she was ok; she was.

                Mostly flat around here with the houses being the tallest structures in the area.

                Paul,

                I utilize the wind speeds with MCS Sprinklers; not watering at 15 or above wind speeds.

                Pics are from 2000 and 2010.

                In FL I like to watch the weather over the bay. Mostly the local weather affects the mainland and pleasant to watch. I've been slowly automating there and planning a combo weather station weather cam thing hopefully some in the near future. My issue there is everything outside is rusting. Last year I had to change all of the outdoor coach lighting which was really less than 10 years old. I wonder if plastic lighting would work better?
                Last edited by Pete; October 26th, 2011, 11:33 AM.
                - Pete

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Pete View Post
                  My issue there is everything outside is rusting. Last year I had to change all of the outdoor coach lighting which was really less than 10 years old. I wonder if plastic lighting would work better?
                  Even here in MI, brass just doesn't hold up that well. There are newer outdoor lights that are weathered bronze looking out of the box and seem to hold up a lot better.I got one a HomeDepot a few years back and it looks as good as when I put it in.
                  Paul

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                  • #10
                    Thanks Paul.

                    Still automating in FL - next endeavor is the thermostat (bought it and maybe not using it for sure yet).

                    I already replaced all of the "coach lamps" and need to replace a small metal chandelier in the entrance of the house.
                    - Pete

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Pete View Post
                      One day around 7 years ago while I was outside the neighbor was getting her mail. Typically a kind of normal thing. A bit of construction debris got caught up in the wind (piece of cardboard with wooden pieces attached to it) came flying out of nowhere; knocked her down and took out her mail box. She yelped and I went to see if she was ok; she was.
                      Reminded me of this...
                      We had a bad (unforecasted) wind & rain storm here early last December. Trees and power poles were uprooted everywhere, coming down on buildings, roads and cars. Roofs everywhere were torn apart. I was certain I was going to wake up in Oz.
                      I clipped a power line with my car, down across the road, on my way to work the next morning in the dark. Fortunately it was dead. No power for two days.
                      Later that day, I found a broken piece of corrugated fiberglass sheet; the type used on greenhouses or decks; embedded half way through a shingle on my roof. Had that hit a person in that way, it would certainly have killed them.
                      Real courage is not securing your Wi-Fi network.

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                      • #12
                        You were lucky there Greg.

                        I think we are going to heading towards an early with snow winter here. Temps are heading down to the 30's this weekend. Its interesting to see lightning and hear thunder when the temps are so low.

                        We had a short major storm (lots of lightning and thunder) pass by last night. Power didn't flicker or totally shut off; which is good as its been doing that with the passing storms.

                        Wind was howling. Not enough to push the deck furniture off the deck (which it did a week or so ago). I am seeing the two extremes of the two weather instruments; with the AAG reporting winds up to 70 MPH and the Fine Offset reporting winds max of 20 MPH.
                        - Pete

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                        • #13
                          Well I realize that one of the 3 local stations is just using accuweather's data so I threw them out. So I'm comparing against 6 sources and after the first day, I had a higher high than any of them predicted and a lower low than any of them predicted.

                          Looks like I'm off to a great start.

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                          • #14
                            Good news there GE.

                            Yeah, historically and related to WUN; if I have an instrument out; I take the data from another local station.

                            Today my UV light data comes from NOAA, one WUN station and my "solar jar" configuration. I'm having "solar jar" issues. It's in a "sealed" glass jar; but still leaks some.
                            - Pete

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                            • #15
                              Actually now I realize I took the "low" from the wrong day so I'm in range there.

                              The forecasts seem to diverge the further out you go in the 7 day forecast. The "today" forecast is fairly tightly clustered.

                              Pete - with multiple stations going you should really be able to get some good data comparisons and if you ever get that Davis, it will really be interesting to see the comparisons.

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