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Thread: Great Rain App

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    Great Rain App

    Well, I'm a golfer and for the third time in less than 2 weeks I have been rained off I know it's a bit of a whinge by comparison to the trials and tribulations of our QLD members

    However, the positive was that whilst standing around trying to decide whether the cursed rain was going to continue (picture quite a few women with Smart phones and Rain Radars), someone pulled out an iPhone App called Rain Spotting which is remarkably accurate. For free, it will tell you how longs it's going to rain at your current location within the next 30 & 60 mins. For $5.49, you get the additional 90/120 min timeframes, no Ads and the ability to add and edit other locations.

    Well, it said that it was going to rain for 53min out of the next 60, so we packed our bongos and went home.

    I thought I'd let folk know about this, would be very useful for photographers planning that next birding/landscape shoot. Sorry, I don't know if it's available for Android users, cheers Deb

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Weatherzone app for iphone and android. Accesses weather radars. And is an Australian made app/
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    I've got Weatherzone and the Radars, but Rain Spotting tells you how long it's going to rain for in a given time frame or, how long until it will rain. That is, it interprets the radar data, very handy.

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    (I have an app called "CursoryGlanceSkyward" that doesn't need a smart phone to run and is fairly on the money for
    the wiles of the weather. )
    CC, Image editing OK.

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    Sounds like a good app! How would it know how long the rain is going to be around?
    Monika
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    Quote Originally Posted by ameerat42 View Post
    (I have an app called "CursoryGlanceSkyward" that doesn't need a smart phone to run and is fairly on the money for the wiles of the weather. )
    I've heard this app is quite reliable, but the machine it runs on can be a bit flakey.
    Phil.

    Some Nikon stuff. I shoot Mirrorless and Mirrorlessless.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Ms Monny View Post
    Sounds like a good app! How would it know how long the rain is going to be around?
    You know how if you put the rain radar on loop, it's moving and tracking in a particular direction? I believe this App is calculating the duration of rainfall from the radar data. So the loop gives the potential rainfall a direction and speed, plus the colours indicate rain density - the App also has a Histogram to indicate likely heaviness of rainfall in the selected time frame.

    We've had a showery day here in Adelaide, and this App is remarkably accurate, very useful, cheers Deb

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    http://steveaxford.smugmug.com/ Steve Axford's Avatar
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    Since all of these apps use data directly from the BOM site, I don't think that any of them will be very good. Where I am we can have heavy rain with nothing on the radar, or we can have heavy rain that is registered. All the third party apps are less accurate than looking closely at the BOM site, they are just easier.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Axford View Post
    Since all of these apps use data directly from the BOM site, I don't think that any of them will be very good. Where I am we can have heavy rain with nothing on the radar, or we can have heavy rain that is registered. All the third party apps are less accurate than looking closely at the BOM site, they are just easier.
    Read what you wrote, you have either contradicted yourself or not written what you actually thought/felt wanted to

    Either way, you haven't actually contributed anything of substance, just an off the cuff response.

    I've experienced rain with absolutely ZERO on the BOM radar, so nothing is foolproof.

    I chose to share my opinion about this particular App, which uses BOM data and which performs pretty well IMHO for the 2 days I've used it AND based on the experiences of the person who showed it to me,(who has used it for several months), because I thought others might find it useful.

    There's an adage, if you don't have anything positive to contribute, then perhaps consider contributing nothing, just a thought

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    http://steveaxford.smugmug.com/ Steve Axford's Avatar
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    You may be right.
    It may work there where rain comes from cold fronts, but the weather radar would tell you just as we'll. Up here it would be useless. Even the Bom is only partly right as much of the heavy rain comes from "upper atmosphere disturbances" which don't appear on weather maps. Bom know about them but have less data than ground level data.
    Anyway, if you like it - great. Just don't think it gives you anything that isn't already available.
    I do use some third party apps but I'm a bit cynical ( perhaps you noticed) as they sometimes don't update from bom properly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Axford View Post
    You may be right.
    It may work there where rain comes from cold fronts, but the weather radar would tell you just as we'll. Up here it would be useless. Even the Bom is only partly right as much of the heavy rain comes from "upper atmosphere disturbances" which don't appear on weather maps. Bom know about them but have less data than ground level data.
    Anyway, if you like it - great. Just don't think it gives you anything that isn't already available.
    I do use some third party apps but I'm a bit cynical ( perhaps you noticed) as they sometimes don't update from bom properly.
    weatherzone use BOM and 'other sources'. My guess is they probably tap into weather underground. or something similar. My weather station (Oregon) provides all its reading to weatherunderground automatically : http://www.wunderground.com/weatherstation/about.asp So they could be accessing data on top of that provided by BOM, which when combined with the BOM data gives them a more accurate overall datamap. After all, where BOM might have a weatherstation, there might be 20-30 weatherunderground weatherstations in the same regional area.

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    http://steveaxford.smugmug.com/ Steve Axford's Avatar
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    You don't seriously think that weather underground has weather forecasting (radar, etc) facilities? This is expensive stuff.
    Perhaps OS, but even then my experience has been that using the third party apps gives a degraded result as they sometimes miss updates from the weather bureaus (for example with ex-cyclone Oswald, Bom gave extra updates which were often missed by the 3rd party apps).
    Please show me something that says they use extra data than from the BOM?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Axford View Post
    You don't seriously think that weather underground has weather forecasting (radar, etc) facilities? This is expensive stuff.
    Perhaps OS, but even then my experience has been that using the third party apps gives a degraded result as they sometimes miss updates from the weather bureaus (for example with ex-cyclone Oswald, Bom gave extra updates which were often missed by the 3rd party apps).
    Please show me something that says they use extra data than from the BOM?
    I did not say they had their own radars. I said they source their information from BOM and other sources, it was my supposition that they PROBABLY use weather underground (or similar) data, my sentence was "My guess is they probably tap into weather underground. or something similar". So I kindly suggest you refrain from twisting my words, thanks

    Their website used to have a section that detailed their sources, it doesn't appear to be there anymore, or I cannot find it. They do have their own team of meteorologists, which in the past, had a page detailing that they used BOM and other resources to gather and interpret the information provided in their forecasts etc. Maybe that has changed.

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    http://steveaxford.smugmug.com/ Steve Axford's Avatar
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    Excuse my cynicism (which is directed at the 3rd party apps, not you), but the BOM has a budget of $300M/annum and the US equiv probably has a budget of many 10s of billions. I can't see anyone spending much on a 3rd party app. Weather forecasting for the major cities by BOM is usually very good and for out here it is ok. The 3rd party apps are designed for the cities (that's where the paying customers are) where they add little, and they add nothing out here (in my experience). Weather is very important here, so I do pay a lot of attention to it. The 3rd party apps fall down for major "weather events" because they are unreliable, and that's just the time when reliable weather forecasting is needed.

    Update
    On the other hand I do use some of these apps myself because they are easier to navigate on an iphone.
    Last edited by Steve Axford; 02-02-2013 at 8:54am.

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    the weatherzone app must collate data, or interpret data from BOM in some way:

    from BOM
    Hobart

    Temp 12.6
    App Temp 8.1
    Dew point 6.0
    Wind Dir SE
    Wind Speed 12 knts
    Pressure 1013.5

    From Weatherzone app

    Temp 14.4
    App Temp 12.5
    Dew point 5.5
    Wind Dir SE
    Wind Speed 14knts
    Pressure 1013.8

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    http://steveaxford.smugmug.com/ Steve Axford's Avatar
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    In my experience the weatherzone data is simply wrong. In my area they give weather data for every tiny town (most of which don't even exist). The data doesn't exist (and is demonstrably wrong). They must extrapolate BOM data from an unnamed source at at unnamed time. They are easy and simple, but they should not be trusted. Weather watching is a habit up here and I'm sometimes amazed at what the apps say is or will happen. It's a big game, but if you want good data, go to the BOM site. They will tell you what they do know - and what they don't know. Weatherzone will tell you all sorts of things, but never distinguish between fact and fiction.

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Axford View Post
    In my experience the weatherzone data is simply wrong. In my area they give weather data for every tiny town (most of which don't even exist). The data doesn't exist (and is demonstrably wrong). They must extrapolate BOM data from an unnamed source at at unnamed time. They are easy and simple, but they should not be trusted. Weather watching is a habit up here and I'm sometimes amazed at what the apps say is or will happen. It's a big game, but if you want good data, go to the BOM site. They will tell you what they do know - and what they don't know. Weatherzone will tell you all sorts of things, but never distinguish between fact and fiction.
    But that also suggests, as per my original post that weatherzone do not just copy the data from BOM, they either get data from other sources and merge it (most likely scenario), or they manipulate the data they do get from BOM in some way.

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    http://steveaxford.smugmug.com/ Steve Axford's Avatar
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    If they do get extra data, then it is generally wrong. There may be locations in the world where they do add value, but I don't think Australia is one of them. They do add usability, on occasions, but with a sacrifice of reliability. There is little on no checks on data in those apps - ie they don't tell you where the data came from or when.

    Where I am, an app "weather au" tells me weather conditions for Teven, Alstonvale, etc. These places don't really exist any more, but there could be properties that reports for them. Unfortunately, the data is often totally wrong or it seems to be the same as other real weather locations. They never tell you which method they use or even if they use a method. I use them because they are often about right and they are very simple to use. If I want accurate data I always go to BOM. That isn't perfect, but it is reliable and you can find out where they got the data from.
    I wish the roads data was as good so we could see which roads are flooded and which are open. This is improving as they add last update time to their reports.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Update
    Weather underground does call for private weather stations to link to their underground network. This is a good idea in theory. Unfortunately, in practice, there is no way of telling if the data provided is good or not. Also, just collecting groundlevel data doesn't give you much if you don't have the other stuff too and if you don't have huge computers to model the weather.

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    Ausphotography irregular Mark L's Avatar
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    A bit of an aside.
    When we have largish fires, we need to plan ahead regarding containment or threat strategy's. Forecast weather is crucial.
    As part of our operations, temp., R.H., wind speed and direction is gathered constantly with specific grid reference from the fireground.
    With this accumulated real time data referenced with historical data we can request a Special Fire Weather Forecast. Guess who we ask?
    With the real time specific info provided, the BOM give amazingly good weather predictions.
    There is no app for this.
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