Blog

Recent Site Changes

Earlier this week I removed the cloud icons that formed the main navigation links throughout the site. This design methodology had passed its shelf life. It also limited the font size of the embedded text. By deploying more generic buttons I was able to change its font type & size. This should make navigation clearer & easier to use.

In the weather history section, you can now click on each of the 24 hour graphs at the top for a much larger, more detailed version of the image. These images are not straight duplicates of the data in the smaller graphs and contain some custom “enhancements”. For instance, the detailed dew point and humidity graphs contain corrected & smoothed values (rolling 5 minute averages to prevent readings from jumping around too much when the air is unstable). The software that connects the weather station to the website cannot correct for sensor errors in real time. I do that immediately after the reading is taken. Then I send the corrected values to the site (current conditions, history tables). Unfortunately the smaller graphs are generated before I can access them. Note that the larger dew point and humidity graphs are still “initializing” which means that some of the data from yesterday is missing. This will correct itself by about 8 PM Saturday evening.

I also fixed a small bug whereby if you had selected metric units in the page settings of the City page (home page) AND you also selected unrounded temperatures you would only see rounded temperatures.

Website is Now in Summer Mode

Usually I wait until May 1st, but the upcoming 7-day forecast shows temperatures almost entirely above freezing with daily highs in the 40s & 50s. Some rain is possible next week. This is not what I would describe as “wintry” by U.P. standards. Since the site only has two modes, I think it’s time for “summer” mode.

This means that wind chill will no longer display in the current conditions on the City page (home page). Rain measurement will take its place to the right of temperature. However, until April 30th, you can monitor hourly wind chill via the daily table on the Weather History page.

Keep in mind that for wind chill to be calculated the temperature must be under 46° and the average wind speed must be at least 3 mph. Otherwise, the wind chill is the same as the ambient temperature. In actuality, wind chill remains very close to (if not identical to) the air temperature until the latter drops into the 20s and/or there are very strong winds.

If we get another cold spell this spring, I will return the site to winter mode temporarily. Let’s hope that’s not necessary!

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P.S. If it snows in the next 7 days, it’s officially my fault.

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UPDATE 5/9/2020: The website is temporarily back in winter mode due to the recent snowfall and cold temperatures. I anticipate by Tuesday the 12th I can return it to summer mode for good (knock wood).

Almanac Change

To enhance readability, the Almanac section on the main page (“City”) now has rounded temperatures. This should make it easier to scan that information quickly.

If you’re looking for exact temperatures in tenths of a degree, please visit weather history for a complete archive of past conditions.

Merry Christmas!

Small Bug Fix on Main Page

For the past week or so, if you clicked on Page Options (wheel icon) in the upper right corner of the home page (a.k.a. “City”) and selected “metric” units, you couldn’t return to “imperial” units. The only way to see imperial units of measure (Fahrenheit, inches, mph, etc) on the home page after selecting metric would have been to clear your browser’s cookies.

Visitors should now be able to toggle between the two options at will without issue.

Sorry about that!

Rethinking Snow Measurements

Earlier I announced the end of snow measurements. Well, after thinking it over some more, I decided on a compromise solution. I will continue measuring snow but only as time, weather, and health permits. This may or may not happen at 8 AM each morning. I may skip days entirely. Or I may just put in an estimate if the wind has wreaked havoc on the measurement area. After all, these are unofficial numbers intended to give an example of what’s happening in the city.

I’ve created a new Snow Measurements page which will list any and all measurements throughout the season (October 1 – May 31).

Hope everyone enjoys the info!