Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Somebody did something about it:

My wife teases me about how interested I am in the weather. I complain that the major websites that report current weather and forecasts rely on a “local” weather site that is four miles away, separated from our town by a two-hundred-foot high hill. The so-called ‘current temperature’ over that hill can be five or six degrees different from what it is around our home. That’s a serious delta when worrying about whether water will freeze or melt on the ground.

I also complain that the major weather sites predict the weather, but they never tell you how good their predictions are. They look forward, not back. Well, I’ve got them now!

I discovered that Princeton University has several small Sensorscope weather stations scattered around town. These stations are on the web, and they record weather conditions for the previous 24 hours. I can get very accurate local readings, and I can see whether the predictions I foolishly trusted were accurate. Here’s the most detailed local weather station.

There’s a small catch of course. Temperature is in Centigrade. (I’m trying to get used to these numbers without converting to Fahrenheit.) Wind speed is in meters per second. (Double that number, to get a close approximation of mph.) And rainfall is measured in mm. Oh, I can handle that.

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