Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

New cloud data available on Astrospheric

astrophotography observing
  • Please log in to reply
11 replies to this topic

#1 moab360

moab360

    Vendor / Developer - Astrospheric

  • -----
  • Vendors
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 237
  • Joined: 20 Feb 2016
  • Loc: Seattle

Posted 04 August 2020 - 12:17 PM

Astrospheric

Advanced weather tools for North American astronomers
augustupdate.jpg
 

Website  |  Android App  |  iOS App

 

Hi fellow astronomers,

 

I'm happy to announce a new (experimental) cloud forecast available on Astrospheric.  Please note: These new features require an Astrospheric subscription in order to access.

 

I'm excited to release the new Cloud Ensemble map layer! This is the beginning of a larger project at Astrospheric to skillfully combine multiple forecast models to generate a state-of-the-art ensemble just for astronomers and astrophotographers. It is currently combining the CMCs RDPS and the experimental NOAA RAP model (more of a duo at this point). More models will be added in the future.  Understanding the range of atmospheric conditions can help us better plan our nights under the stars.

 

background.png  

 

The cloud ensemble is generated by taking the maximum % cloud forecasted from each contributing model and projecting it on the map. To make it easy to understand what model you're seeing clouds from, the layer is color coded. When the models agree the clouds will be white, when they disagree the clouds will be color coded based on the model. The RDPS model will appear yellow and the RAP model will appear blue.

 

Identifying geographic areas where the models agree on clear skies can give added weight to the likelihood that there will actually be clear skies.

 

miniensemble.png

 

The new cloud layer can be enabled on the mini-cloud map (tap the button highlighted in the image above) or on the full screen map within Astrospheric.

 

More information on this new ensemble can be found here.

 

In addition to this new map layer, the Extended cloud data that Astrospheric uses to build long range cloud forecasts is also now available on the map.  This data is generated from the GFS model twice a day.  Please note that animating 10 days of cloud data can eat up a lot of bandwidth so please check your network connection before hitting play smile.gif

 

That's it for now, thanks for reading and clear skies!

-Dan


  • zjc26138, psandelle, Procyon and 2 others like this

#2 KTAZ

KTAZ

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,074
  • Joined: 09 Apr 2020
  • Loc: Scottsdale, AZ

Posted 04 August 2020 - 12:19 PM

Anything to help get a better cloud forecast would be nice...I would say that 3 out of the 4 websites that I typically use completely miss high clouds 90% of the time and still show "Clear".


  • moab360 likes this

#3 KTAZ

KTAZ

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,074
  • Joined: 09 Apr 2020
  • Loc: Scottsdale, AZ

Posted 04 August 2020 - 02:45 PM

BTW, I joined Astrospheric but was not given access to the new maps. How do I show my CN membership to obtain my "free" subscription?



#4 moab360

moab360

    Vendor / Developer - Astrospheric

  • -----
  • Vendors
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 237
  • Joined: 20 Feb 2016
  • Loc: Seattle

Posted 04 August 2020 - 02:54 PM

BTW, I joined Astrospheric but was not given access to the new maps. How do I show my CN membership to obtain my "free" subscription?

Sadly giving all CN members a free subscription would bankrupt me very quickly.  If you're part of an astronomical society you could look into a feature called Subspace which can provide free subscriptions to members.  I'm actually not allowed to discuss Subspace on Cloudy Nights so feel free to PM me if you want more details.



#5 Paul Garais

Paul Garais

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 537
  • Joined: 07 Oct 2018
  • Loc: Sendenhorst, Germany

Posted 04 August 2020 - 02:57 PM

Any plans to extend it to other continents?

—Paul

#6 moab360

moab360

    Vendor / Developer - Astrospheric

  • -----
  • Vendors
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 237
  • Joined: 20 Feb 2016
  • Loc: Seattle

Posted 04 August 2020 - 03:04 PM

Any plans to extend it to other continents?

—Paul

Not at this time.  The weather models I study and use for this project only cover Canada, the continental US, and Alaska (some parts of Mexico).  I've investigated using data from the ECMWF for more coverage, but it is prohibitively expensive to get access to the variables I'd need.

 

A bit more info here - https://www.astrosph...ontent/faq.php 


  • psandelle and Paul Garais like this

#7 Paul Garais

Paul Garais

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 537
  • Joined: 07 Oct 2018
  • Loc: Sendenhorst, Germany

Posted 04 August 2020 - 03:06 PM

Thank you for the insights!

#8 Lasidar

Lasidar

    Lift Off

  • *****
  • Posts: 1
  • Joined: 07 Mar 2020

Posted 11 August 2020 - 05:55 PM

Maybe this is a silly question, but what are the differences in how RAP and RDPS generate the models? Is one more reliable than the other?
  • moab360 likes this

#9 moab360

moab360

    Vendor / Developer - Astrospheric

  • -----
  • Vendors
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 237
  • Joined: 20 Feb 2016
  • Loc: Seattle

Posted 12 August 2020 - 01:51 PM

Maybe this is a silly question, but what are the differences in how RAP and RDPS generate the models? Is one more reliable than the other?


Not a silly question at all. The major differences between the models are 1) the data sources they use to initiate the model and 2) the physics algorithms used for modeling and prediction based off of the data that was fed into the system.  Given the RAP data is still experimental it's too early to speak to it's accuracy.  That said, we can conclusively say that it currently predicts more clouds than the Canadian RDPS model (there is generally more blue shown on the map, indicating RAP predicted clouds.  Example image below).

 

ensemblecloud.jpg

 

We'll continue to study accuracy as we go forward and as the RAP moves out of its experimental phase into production.  Until then though, if you find the RDPS model is underpredicting cloud cover in your area then it's worth checking if the RAP model is performing better.



#10 Denimsky

Denimsky

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,065
  • Joined: 21 Jan 2007
  • Loc: BC, Canada

Posted 12 August 2020 - 06:07 PM

Hello

 

When I select the ensemble cloud forecast, is the clear sky clock updated with the ensemble forecast as well?

 

Thank you



#11 moab360

moab360

    Vendor / Developer - Astrospheric

  • -----
  • Vendors
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 237
  • Joined: 20 Feb 2016
  • Loc: Seattle

Posted 12 August 2020 - 07:22 PM

Hello

 

When I select the ensemble cloud forecast, is the clear sky clock updated with the ensemble forecast as well?

 

Thank you

Not yet.  The point forecasts that Astrospheric creates currently use the CMCs RDPS model.  This will change in the future, but right now the RAP experimental forecast isn't reliable enough to add to my search algorithms.  By reliable I mean the systems creating the RAP experimental forecast sometimes stop, restart, or skip model runs all together.  Once this version of the RAP moves into production then this will no longer be an issue.  It's possible to monitor the status of RAP at this URL - https://rapidrefresh...rap/Status.cgi 



#12 dgpilot

dgpilot

    Ranger 4

  • *****
  • Posts: 331
  • Joined: 25 Sep 2009
  • Loc: Northern California

Posted 19 August 2020 - 01:36 PM

Wow! I just discovered Astrospheric, very nice.

I have a question, is it possible in the future to implement a historical loop span of satellite imagery, similar to what weather.us does? https://weather.us/s...tml#play-0-21-7

 

Thank you!


Edited by dgpilot, 19 August 2020 - 01:37 PM.



CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: astrophotography, observing



Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics