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NWS provider file for Weather Monitor plugin - (NWS = National Weather Service)
02-28-2004, 01:16 PM
Post: #1
 
I got fed up with other weather sites, because they showed significant deviation from what my local airport was reporting (for example, Weather.com regularly displayed humidity values which were 8 or 10 full points off! ). So, I decided to use the "real deal" weather site: The National Weather Service (NWS) site.

Attached is a provider file for NWS. Things like INI files don't deserve to be called "betas", probably, but in essence that's what this is--I don't consider it 100% completed (especially where weather conditions are concerned, which NWS seems to use sparingly). One thing I tried to do was to include lots of extra information, such as "Today's Forecast", "Updated", etcetera.

This provider file works for me, but then again, I have a very simple Weather Monitor plugin configuration. Obviously, skin INI files will also need to be edited.

Feedback and/or corrections are welcome. (I hope I didn't do an awful job on this, as it is my first time.) One thing I am quite sure will need more work is weather conditions. I looked at a slew of localities on the NWS site, but 90% of they had "Fair" displayed for their weather conditions, and any that differed have been included.

[You may want to download the latest INI file by scrolling down... Rather than downloading the one immediately below.]
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02-28-2004, 02:11 PM
Post: #2
 
OK, I can see that the "Today's High Temp", "Tonight's Low Temp" items need work.
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02-28-2004, 02:18 PM
Post: #3
 
This version seems to work better.

As you can see, this is very much a "work in progress" type of thing. I was just hoping someone with more experience might be able to clue me in at an early stage if I was doing something really whacked.
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02-28-2004, 07:19 PM
Post: #4
 
Ah yes, why not another update? I keep finding bizarre things that break one little piece of information here and there... Just now, I had to account for the fact that late in the day, NWS changes "Tonight" to read "Overnight" instead (no, not for any good reason, other than perhaps to thwart parsers like me).

Yes, I've considered putting the file on a separate site, so I can just update the file without reposting it. I'll do that later.
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02-29-2004, 02:00 PM
Post: #5
 
Quote:As you can see, this is very much a "work in progress" type of thing. I was just hoping someone with more experience might be able to clue me in at an early stage if I was doing something really whacked.
Scott, I'll take a look at this now, and give you some feedback. If you have any questions, please ask! Big Grin
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02-29-2004, 02:04 PM
Post: #6
 
Thanks. I've only used this provider with the Clear 16 2-Slot skin. Here is the section I added to that skin's INI file, to correspond with the condition names that NWS uses:

[NWS.ini]
Clear=sun.png
Fair=sun.png
Fair and Breezy=sun.png
Partly Cloudy=partlycloudy.png
A Few Clouds=partlycloudy.png
Mostly Cloudy=clouds.png
Overcast=clouds2.png
Fog/Mist=fog.png
Fog=fog.png
Light Snow Fog/Mist=snow3.png
Light Snow=snow3.png
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02-29-2004, 03:14 PM
Post: #7
 
On a related note, does anyone know how to find out all the weather conditions any of the major weather providers use? I.E. NWS, Weather.com (especially interested in the XML feed), Weather Underground, AccuWeather, InstaWeather, etc. I'd like to find a complete list of every possible condition for one or more of these providers, but they don't respond to emails on that topic. Is this an unreasonable request?
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02-29-2004, 03:49 PM
Post: #8
 
As far as I am concerned, it's not an unreasonable request!

My personal experiences when I was creating my weather skins where just as unfruitful as yours. Some sites had help pages which where usually hard to find, and often scant of information of real use but then their primary concern is delivery of weather to people, and not to computers. RSS will change the scene here, as we're beginning to see with the comments Yuri has made about Weather Monitor for the xoap.weather.com feed.

I've got lots of information about various weather sites in a OneNote file, but that will be in my own brand of "brain-dump", and not necessarily understandable to anyone else but me. I'll try to condense it into a digest of sorts in an Excel spreadsheet and post it here.
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02-29-2004, 05:42 PM
Post: #9
 
That'd be great Horus, thanks!

There's no rush, however, so don't kill yourself over it Smile
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02-29-2004, 05:51 PM
Post: #10
 
Here are some weather condition terms used by the NWS:

http://www.crh.noaa.gov/oax/sky.shtml

I've also sent them an email asking if there is some consolidated list somewhere.

Edit: A NWS representative has already given me a reply, if you can believe that. I was pointed to the URL below. This information isn't very helpful, really.

http://www.erh.noaa.gov/er/bgm/ProductsGuide/anat.html
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03-05-2004, 12:36 AM
Post: #11
 
There is no standard set of weather terms used by the major providers (most of whom, incidentally, use the NWS as THEIR provider).

There is however a standard set of meteorlogical phenomena that observers report:

http://www.met.tamu.edu/class/METAR/metar-pg9-ww.html

Any other terms used are derived from these and the lower cloud level.
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03-05-2004, 03:36 AM
Post: #12
 
I've been trying to develop a True Launch Bar setup that will decode METAR data but current limitations in the Weather Monitor prevent this. But that's no criticism!

Of course, this will be less of a problem when the Universal Data Fetcher becomes a reality! Big Grin

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03-05-2004, 04:43 PM
Post: #13
 
Thanks for the info, nick. I was hoping there was a drop-down list on a web form somewhere that meteorologists use when entering weather, but I suppose that would be TOO easy. Your explanation makes a lot more sense, even if it wasn't what I wanted to hear.

Incidentely, here's a sneak peak at what I'm working on for anyone that's interested. Each 75x75 pixel block is a separate plugin skin and provider file, most of which are pulling data from the Weather.com XML feed. The thinking is that the end user can decide which info (s)he wants to see and not waste resources on the other stuff. Up next: hourly forecasts for the next 12 hours and daily forecasts for the next 10 days.
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03-05-2004, 10:40 PM
Post: #14
 
Hot stuff shapshifter!

HMSS Q Section
click here for 30+ ideas from a Special Plugin List
some examples=
UV Index Monitor, Allergy Monitor, TLB Version Monitor, Cinema Monitor
Visualise World Righteousness
Semper Ad Fundum
Working for the Secret Intelligence Service
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03-06-2004, 07:38 AM
Post: #15
 
Looking good Shapeshifter. Big Grin

I think we're getting to a point where we need to be able to post addons for skins. Especially weather monitor, as not everyone has the same taste in graphics or the same preference of provider. What do you think?

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