It would be nice to give feedback on weather stations


#1

So a month in with the Rachio and in general I’m enjoying it. I’ve been wondering why I’ve had to set manual rain delays though. I thought this system was smart enough to look at the weather going forward and water or not water based on that. The system wanted to water 1" on a Thursday when we were going to get 2"+ on Saturday / Sunday.

After looking at my data, it’s pretty clear the local airport isn’t measuring precipitation correctly. That weekend of 2’+, it registered 0.1" of rain. Changing from that airport to the next one (Dulles) and from 8mi to 13mi away, I now am pulling in reasonable rain information. My calendar has updated to a more reasonable, less often time-frame and the details show foretasted rain much more reasonable.

It’d be nice to have a reliability rating for weather stations. Both the “official” and the PWS ones. Eventually I’d like my own PWS but I don’t have a good place to put it (and wallet needs some recovery). But I think it would be a good resource to know what everyone else thinks of a particular weather station.


#2

Hey @jus10!

I think this could be a huge help in selecting a weather station. My only concern is with weather varying so much in regions (expecially precipitation) it’s hard to know if a station is reporting correctly for that area, and your area is just receiving different weather, or if the station itself is actually faulty. Maybe something like a limit on the radius of weather stations around you that you can rate would solve this? I’m not sure, it’s an interesting problem to solve with the unpredictability and variance of weather. I would love to hear your thoughts.

Regardless, some more guidance in weather station selection would be really helpful for users! Thank you for the feedback!

McKynzee :rachio:


#3

Yes, I don’t think you could ever rate the reliability of a weather station, but you could show how many users are using a given weather station and/or add comments with dates. For example I could put “Hey, KHEF doesn’t look like it’s reporting precipitation correctly, I’m moving to KIAD”. That’s useful for the “official” stations but even more help for the PWS. I’d also like to know if Rachio-ites are running one of the PWS’s near me because I’m assuming then they have a high motivation to keep the precipitation reports inline with reality.

Ultimately having my own weather station is probably best. But, if a new user comes in and selects a weather station (even an official one like I was using) and that data is junk, then all of Rachio’s smart weather functions go out the window. Or you know, figure it out eventually and switch over. Changing a weather station is also not retroactive (Rachio doesn’t seem to recalculate the moisture level’s based on the weather from the corrected weather station) so not having a good start is a problem.


#4

You should check out how you can use data from a local weather underground station. What I am talking about there (about rainfall analysis), could also apply to analysis of any other (non weather underground) station visible within Rachio.

I go into detail there how to judge the quality of the station data and you would have a wider choose to what Rachio provides by default.

You don’t have to own your own station to setup all of the required information to start using it within Rachio.

That being said, I’m not discounting your feature suggestions, ratings by users would be a great feature. I just felt like this information may be useful for whoever would end up doing station analysis and provide ratings for other users.

Cheers,
Gene


#5

@jus10 Have you ever used the app Waze? They are a navigation app that uses crowd sourcing for reporting things like accidents, police, or just bad traffic. Your description sounds a lot like how they do this- they allow users to thumbs up/down reports and comment on them. I agree, maybe rather than evaluating reliability, we just allow some user feedback/data on stations. Considering weather is so important for Rachio’s smarts, and it’s also a pretty big pain point, any additional information would be helpful.


#6

That’s pretty nifty. I wish Rachio supported wunderground’s PWS network natively but I’m guessing there is a cost for that API and it’s prohibitive. Although I can’t help but notice @franz’s comment here …

Ultimately I think I want to run my own PWS station. If I have to run scripts to migrate data from wunderground over anyway, well I’d rather be uploading my own info! I just don’t have the best location for a unit with a anemometer. I guess for a Rachio I really care about temp, humidity and especially precipitation. Annoyingly one of my neighbors directly behind our property has a Davis Vantage up on his deck but that data doesn’t seem to go anywhere.

However until that day, I’m 13 miles from Dulles Airport which does chart precipitation accurately (it should since the LWX NWS office is right next to it!). I know there are people far further away from a local weather station.


#7

I have used Waze a few times. My Dad is a big user of it.

I think the ability to have some notes or even thumbs up/down on a weather station would be handy. Again in this case a “hey, take a look at that precipitation data - does that seem right to you? on KHEF” probably solves most people’s problem with it. It would be helpful for PWS data as well. And it would be handy to know if a PWS is being run by a Rachio users since odds are good they are motivated to keep it up and running!


#8

You are guessing correct- it is a pretty big cost, and therefore just requires quite a bit more thought and input from the entire business. However, like Franz said, we are absolutely trying to expand our weather support. Either way, I think this would be valuable with or without WU support! There needs to be an easier way to evaluate the accuracy of weather stations when you are trying to select one.


#9

Hi Mckynzee, couldnt you just have the app imbed the link and display the MADIS(Meteorological Assimilation Data Ingest System) rating? I believe it to be free of charge. MADIS rates both NOAA and PWS station data using the green thumbs up indicators. You could fit these realtime statuses along with the station name right in the Local Weather title bar of the app.