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General Astronomy >> Beginners Forum

Pages: 1
penguinx64
professor emeritus


Reged: 11/12/13

Loc: Holland
Weather Conditions new
      #6227412 - 12/01/13 04:21 PM

What is the best website for accurate weather conditions? I use Accuweather.com, because I used to work for a newspaper and they used it. Accuweather has hourly forcasts that are half right 50% of the time. For example, Accuweather said the sky would be Mostly Clear at 7pm tonight. Now it is 10pm and the sky is still mostly cloudy. In the last 2 hours, maybe I saw a dozen stars for a few seconds through holes in the clouds. Maybe I saw half a dozen through my lowest power eyepiece before they disappeared behind the clouds a few seconds later. I collumated my scope today for the first time. I wanted to see if it I did it right or if it made any difference. Sure, a couple of stars looked good at 14x, but it would have been nice to try some higher power eyepieces. I still do not know if I collumated it right or not.

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ManicSponge
sage


Reged: 11/29/13

Loc: Wenatchee, Wa.
Re: Weather Conditions new [Re: penguinx64]
      #6227556 - 12/01/13 05:35 PM

I have used Wunderground for years, and it seems to be very accurate for my region. A lot of the accuracy of these sites depend on the difficulty of forecasting in your area, and the quality of radar, and satellite imagery for your location.
Best of luck. I have a new telescope on it's way, and the forecast here, is for clouds and possibly snow, for several days after it arrives. Typical luck?
Regards, Kyle


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Raginar
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: Rapid CIty, SD
Re: Weather Conditions new [Re: ManicSponge]
      #6227919 - 12/01/13 08:42 PM

Get your own weather statijn

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izar187
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 09/02/06

Loc: 43N
Re: Weather Conditions new [Re: penguinx64]
      #6227998 - 12/01/13 09:26 PM

Quote:

What is the best website for accurate weather conditions? I use Accuweather.com, because I used to work for a newspaper and they used it. Accuweather has hourly forcasts that are half right 50% of the time. For example, Accuweather said the sky would be Mostly Clear at 7pm tonight. Now it is 10pm and the sky is still mostly cloudy. In the last 2 hours, maybe I saw a dozen stars for a few seconds through holes in the clouds. Maybe I saw half a dozen through my lowest power eyepiece before they disappeared behind the clouds a few seconds later. I collumated my scope today for the first time. I wanted to see if it I did it right or if it made any difference. Sure, a couple of stars looked good at 14x, but it would have been nice to try some higher power eyepieces. I still do not know if I collumated it right or not.




In my experience, your best option is one of your local tv stations weather web pages.

Their forecast will be more likely to be correct for your local region. Or they stand to lose viewers, and advertising dollars.
TV stations spend BIG bucks on this, specifically for retaining the local viewership.
Pick the one with the least hype. On the page that loads easiest. With a text overnight forecast included if possible. And hopefully all three together.

But even more important then the forecast, is the cloud cover satellite loop for your locale.
This will give you real time insight for what's coming, about to open up, or about to close.

Obviously the cloud cover loop is no help with the seeing and transparency.
But those are going to be what they are, and we just have to adjust possible target options accordingly.


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Paco_Grande
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 07/14/12

Loc: Banana Republic of California
Re: Weather Conditions new [Re: Raginar]
      #6228000 - 12/01/13 09:27 PM

I don't use Accuweather any longer because they're almost always wrong. The main reason is they're taking readings from a station at our local airport, which is 4 miles south of town and much closer to the San Francisco bay (and related) waters. In just 4 miles there can be 5-8 degrees in temperature difference, wind is different (stronger at the airport), and clouds and fog predictions are almost always off, too.

I've been using the Weather Channel lately. Forecast and current conditions are more accurate. But as to clouds or fog, nothing beats knowing the current dew point and wind conditions, the jet stream and so forth... and then figure it out for yourself. I mean, you can walk outside and see for yourself.

These are the people who claim the world is about to end due to climate change and yet they can't predict tomorrow's weather worth a darn... I'd love to use another word but won't.

Anyway, see where Accuweather is getting their data. It might be too far away from you to be useful.


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Kraus
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 03/10/12

Loc: Georgia.
Re: Weather Conditions new [Re: Paco_Grande]
      #6228601 - 12/02/13 08:57 AM


I look outside. Clear sky horizon to horizon, I get set.


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GeneT
Ely Kid
*****

Reged: 11/07/08

Loc: South Texas
Re: Weather Conditions new [Re: penguinx64]
      #6229274 - 12/02/13 02:26 PM

I have about a dozen weather sites saved, half of them local. They all predict different situations. One thing I recommend you look at is the location of the jet stream. You can go out with dark, clear skies, and yet get poor planetary images, and feeble stellar points. Often, the culprit is the jet stream being overhead.

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csrlice12
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: Weather Conditions new [Re: GeneT]
      #6229302 - 12/02/13 02:39 PM

I just stop by the scope store once or twice a week....that keeps the clouds in the sky....It's my form of weather control....

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Paco_Grande
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 07/14/12

Loc: Banana Republic of California
Re: Weather Conditions [Re: csrlice12]
      #6229402 - 12/02/13 03:14 PM

Fun fact: If you simply forecast that tomorrow's weather will be essentially the same as today, you will be correct 75% of the time

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brianb11213
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 02/25/09

Loc: 55.215N 6.554W
Re: Weather Conditions new [Re: Paco_Grande]
      #6229680 - 12/02/13 05:02 PM

Quote:

Fun fact: If you simply forecast that tomorrow's weather will be essentially the same as today, you will be correct 75% of the time



In California, possibly. Round here the weather changes every 10 minutes.


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Paco_Grande
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 07/14/12

Loc: Banana Republic of California
Re: Weather Conditions new [Re: brianb11213]
      #6229704 - 12/02/13 05:10 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Fun fact: If you simply forecast that tomorrow's weather will be essentially the same as today, you will be correct 75% of the time



In California, possibly. Round here the weather changes every 10 minutes.




Doesn't matter where.

I heard it from a trained military meteorologist some years ago. It's based on statistics and over time it works everywhere, even places like Alaska or the desert, or any place where this phrase is common: "If you don't like the weather, wait ten minutes."

Do it for a year and you'll be right 75% of the time.


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Westseen
member


Reged: 10/12/13

Loc: MN
Re: Weather Conditions new [Re: Paco_Grande]
      #6230115 - 12/02/13 08:09 PM

Shouldn't a weather forecast gauge what *may* happen so you can be prepared rather than a perfect description of the future?

I haven't seen many clear skies lately... this coming week is geared for snow. Drove a couple hours Saturday night to hitch on some clear skies... low atmospheric clouds rolled in within 30 min. sigh*


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csrlice12
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: Weather Conditions new [Re: Westseen]
      #6230161 - 12/02/13 08:33 PM

Nah, it works out basically...the 25% of time it doesn't work are called new moon weekends.....

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Illinois
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/18/06

Loc: near Dixon, Illinois USA
Re: Weather Conditions new [Re: csrlice12]
      #6230890 - 12/03/13 07:56 AM

I like www.weather.com Its Weather Channel. Ten days forecast but I click on hourly and see if clear tonight. I look at sky few hours before sunset then I put my telescope outside for 1 or 2 hours before sunset and my telescope is ready for me at night!

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nwcs
super member


Reged: 11/12/13

Loc: Tennessee
Re: Weather Conditions new [Re: Illinois]
      #6230910 - 12/03/13 08:21 AM

WeatherTrends 360 is also pretty decent at guessing weather up to a year in advance. I planned my honeymoon last year with it in mind and it was pretty close to being right 4 months prior.

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rdandrea
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 06/13/10

Loc: Colorado, USA DM59ra
Re: Weather Conditions new [Re: penguinx64]
      #6231526 - 12/03/13 02:03 PM

An interesting point (marginally on topic) Nate Silver made in his recent book "The Signal and the Noise" was that the National Weather Service was more accurate in predicting rain than the private services, who often predicted rain when it didn't happen. The rationale? The private services thought people would be less angry with them if they predicted rain and it didn't happen, vs. not predicting rain and it did happen.

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