Blog

Real-time Air Quality Monitoring Now Available

We have acquired & installed an air quality sensor as part of our real-time atmospheric telemetry. You can view it’s 10 minute average Air Quality Index (AQI) at marquette.purpleair.com.

Given our proximity to vast tracts of unspoiled wilderness, especially to our north in Canada, we want to be prepared if there are plumes of air from forest fires that invade Marquette similar to NYC/DC this past week!

We are still in the testing phases of this device. Once it appears to be reliable & accurate we may publish the AQI reading in the “Weather Conditions” section of the home page (CITY).

UPDATE 06/12/23 10:30 PM:

Air Quality readings are now available on our home page! I have included range information (0-500) for this reading and a couple others too. You can now click on any header in the Weather Conditions section and it will give you a “tooltip” explaining that measurement. I see this as a great way to educate visitors and enhance engagement with the site.

 

A Slight Change To The Almanac

Perhaps you’ve noticed the field “Monthly Departure” in the Almanac on the City page (home page)? Its value represents the current aberration from the 30-year normal average temperature for the calendar month.

Previously, this field was being calculated on a month-to-date basis. That meant that if, for example, only 2 days had passed in the month, and those first two days were very hot or very cold, then the departure value would be quite large (either negatively or positively).

As of today we are calculating the departure as a full month preloaded with normal average temperatures. We replace each day’s normal average temperature with an observed daily average temperature as it occurs. This results in much smaller departures earlier in the month.

We feel this updated methodology is a more accurate representation of reality where trends emerge gradually. Climate, by definition, is the general tendency of observed phenomena — in this case temperatures — to occur within certain boundaries over a long-term period. A few days, or even a week, does not determine the outcome of an entire month.

So, to demonstrate…. The first 4.5 days of June 2023 have been unseasonably warm and yet have only resulted in a +1.4° departure (which rounds down to +1°) for the month. We are no longer assuming there will not be 25 days to come. Instead, we put in normals for those remaining days and witness how much our recent weather skews the entire month.

A couple hundred lines of code have gone into this single field (“Monthly Departure”) in the Almanac. This is the sort of thing that sets this website apart from other weather sources.

Dark Sky Radar Removed

Well, the Dark Sky radar widget on the home page has finally gone… dark. As part of Apple’s buyout of Dark Sky all their web maps have been disabled. I’m thinking it happened the 1st of the year (not exactly sure, though).

As such, I have removed that feature from the City (home) page.

The good news is that we have a fully-functioning Maps page with a large, multi-functional, interactive map provided courtesy of Windy. You can view up to the last 12 hours of radar history to see the progression of any precipitation.

New Hourly Forecast Feature

hourly forecast as seen on iPhoneAs of today, an hourly forecast from the National Weather Service is now available on the home page. Simply locate the horizontal row of weather icons and look immediately beneath them. You will see a section header: “Quick Forecast”. There you can select either “daily” or “hourly”. Your device should remember your selection over time (assuming you haven’t disabled “cookies”).

This new feature will allow you to see the next 24 hours in terms of temperature, wind, sky conditions and probability of precipitation. You can easily scroll with a finger (mobile) or trackpad (laptop) to see all available hours.

Also, for our “power” users, if you visit page settings on the home page (see gear icon in upper right), there is an option to enable dewpoints on the hourly forecast. This is quite useful in the summer to determine how “muggy” any given day will feel. The general rule of thumb is it starts to feel humid when dewpoints rise to the low 60s or greater. Once it hits 70° (only maybe a few times per summer in Marquette, generally), it’s quite humid. In the winter, when the dewpoint and the temperature begin converging, the likelihood of snow goes up. So there is value to this reading year round.

We hope you enjoy this new feature. Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Back to Top
Theme:

(Auto night: 9:46 PM - 5:52 AM)