Blog

A New Interactive Radar Map

New Maps PageLast December we had to remove the radar imagery that appeared on the home page (for most devices). This was due to the recent overhaul of radar data by the National Weather Service.

Since then I’ve been looking for a replacement radar interface that was free and didn’t track end users.

It turns out that Windy.com, a weather enthusiast site I subscribe to that provides all manner of modeled weather data, offers a ready-made widget that will, among other things, display current and past radar conditions. You’ll find this zoomable radar on our Maps page.

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Radar Changes

The National Weather Service has changed the method radar imagery is delivered. Unfortunately, that means, for the indefinite future, we will not be able to feature a static radar image on the home page.

For the time being, we offer two radar options: Weather Underground’s animated radar and Dark Sky’s static radar. These are available in the “Enhanced Radar” selector immediately beneath the quick forecast icons. There may come a time when these alternatives also cease to function.

We are searching out other possibilities for radar imagery. Please bear with us as this is beyond our control. Thank you!

New Rain Calibration Active

You may have noticed that at times rainfall totals in the Almanac section or History page suddenly shift, usually downward. That’s because the automatic rain gauge runs a little wet. Oftentimes, I circle back and correct the amount with what I’ve measured in the manual gauge (~ 6′ away and 3′ lower).

Well, through the wonders of technology (a.k.a. Microsoft Excel), I was able to finally calculate the error and program a correction for it. Over the last 12″ of rainfall, it’s a pretty consistent 4-8% overage. It averages out to +6.5%. So I am subtracting that from realtime readings now. I’ll keep an eye on it to see if it changes over time.

For small events, it may not have any effect whatsoever. But in larger rain storms, it should allow for fewer corrections and, thus, less confusion.

Radar Maintenance Until 3 PM 7/1

The radar is down until approximately 3 PM on Wednesday July 1st for maintenance.

Be aware that starting Monday July 13th the radar will be down for approximately 2 weeks. Technicians will be swapping out the pedestal. See the NWS blog article for more information.

Instrument Calibrations

As noted in the about page, I regularly check our sensors to be sure they are within specifications. Over the last couple weeks I have been conducting tests.

Temperature was right on. That’s typical, as our sensor is pretty bulletproof. I have a platinum RTD digital thermometer that’s accurate to within 0.1° F (best to check on a cloudy, windy night to eliminate radiation as a factor). I also have a laboratory-grade aspirated psychrometer with a dry bulb thermometer that’s extremely accurate. It’s analog, so the biggest challenge is reading between the lines. But my tests show the station’s thermal sensor is within 0.5° during the day which is quite good. There’s also a backup sensor on site as well. At night or on cloudy/rainy days, the two sensors are normally within 0.2° F. During sunny days, height (7 ft vs 21 ft) and shielding differences (active vs passive ventilation) can frequently lead to 1° differences in either direction. 2-3° differences are not out of the question when it’s particularly calm and sunny.

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