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Posts Tagged ‘weather’

Oh sweet mother of Ackbar

2009/12/18 Comments off

Best. Single. Page. Weather. Forecast. Ever.

Weather for San Francisco

Weather for Denver

“You may have to climb inside a tauntaun for warmth.” Oh, dear.

There’s also Naboo, Yavin 4 (“Also bits of the Death Star might fall on your head”), and Tatooine. Maybe more but I need to stop laughing for a while and catch my breath. This might have to be my home page from now on. Holy cow, I love the interwebs.

Star Wars Weather Forecast

Categories: Design Tags: , ,

Too right

2009/12/05 Comments off

When it’s this easy to ping Yahoo or Google services to get the weather, every yahoo puts up a site. Today’s example of a one page wonder tells it like it is:

the weather for Inkom, Id

Note the small comment—Where’s a Tauntaun when you need one? Probably right behind you, mate. Not the greatest design (although a nice, high end, Swiss grid dealie with helvetica would be amusing; you know, for the contrast between ‘wang icicles’ and classiness), but at least it’s honest.

Categories: Design Tags:

Neat – doppler radar mistakes wind turbines for tornadoes

2009/08/30 Comments off

I live in a tornado-prone area, so this immediately caught my eye.

Software can easily filter out buildings, cell towers and mountain ridges on radar screens. Yet because weather radar seeks motion to warn of storms, there’s no way to filter out the spinning blades.

Microwave radio signals are beamed toward a particular point and meteorologists listen for the “reflection.” Experts can pick out the shape of a storm, or a tornado.

The splatter of green, yellow, orange and red on Doppler screens that are caused by wind farms can look very much like a tornado or a storm.

via The Daily Herald

Part of me found it quite amusing; another part a little terrifying.

It also speaks to the potential pitfalls of relying solely on software to make life and death decisions. As the article notes, it’s dangerous for a meteorologist to ignore a signal near a wind turbine (assuming it’s just the blades) when there actually is a tornado and it’s also dangerous for the meteorologist to report false information, that there is a tornado, (assuming it’s not the turbines) when there is no tornado. The latter situation reduces the efficacy of the warning system, the boy crying wolf scenario. You get Type I and Type II errors all for trying to be a good eco-citizen.

I’d think, though, that they could get the coordinates of the turbines and add some code to go ‘hey, there’s a tornado near wind turbine x and the tornado’s not moving really anywhere so maybe it isn’t a tornado.” I guess that’s harder than it sounds.

Categories: Technology Tags: , ,

Such optimism

2009/07/08 Comments off

One of the search terms pulling Sparsile Commons:

is it going to rain on july 14, 2009

posted on July 2. So almost two weeks before the day. Short answer—no one knows. We are not that good at predicting the weather for three days ahead. If you would like a nice heuristic (rule of thumb) prediction, assume that it will be sunny. You will be right more often than not. Or get yourself a trick knee, thumb, ankle, elbow to amaze your friends and family.

Categories: Science Tags: ,

Is it going to rain?

2009/06/07 Comments off

It might do. It’s certainly humid enough. But that’s not important here because I ran across another of the “Is it…” sites.

is it going to rain?

is it going to rain?

You can find out here.

Categories: Technology Tags: , ,

Look out, cumulonimbus!

2009/06/06 Comments off

The Cloud Appreciation Society (only the British would think of that, but it does exist) want to make a new type of cloud. Asperatus. Hmm, I sort of expected them to look like asparagus, but that would really just be wind-whipped contrails. Asperatus.

The new Asperatus Cloud

The new Asperatus Cloud

What do you think, does it have a chance? Or we could add the perhaps more appropriate basementus type:

Maybe a half cousin of the asperatus?

Maybe a half cousin of the asperatus?

It looked so promising, but no, we got, wait for it, high winds. And barely any rain. Oh well, maybe this weekend. Anyway, I would proudly wear this should anyone care to send one. Such a happy cloud.

A patch

A patch

Categories: Science Tags: ,

How many of these sites are there?

2009/05/22 1 comment

It seemed to start with the “Do I need a jacket?” site, then went minimalist with the “Is Obama President?” site (which has gone a little upscale with a clock and photos recently). I’m sure there are others, but the one that I ran across tonight is “Is it iced coffee weather?” And it’s about as basic as it gets.

Is it iced coffee weather? for Minneapolis

Is it iced coffee weather? for Minneapolis

And, although this might spoil it for you, if it’s hot coffee weather instead, it says NO. Remarkable. My favorite part is what happens if you put in an invalid zip code (typos happen):

isiticedcoffeeweather_ehBrilliant. So brilliant, in fact, that I think they should use this for those days when you could go either way — iced or hot. Or maybe use Meh?

Categories: Coding, Design Tags: , ,