Major Thunderstorms followed by watering cycle, Canada

The last three times weather Canada has sent me an alert that my city of Calgary is under a sever thunderstorm, I find myself waking up to a notification that the sprinkler ran overnight anyway. It’s like: Day 1 – extreme rain until 9pm. Day 2 – It hasn’t rained since midnight so this day is dry and I should run the system.

Seems insane. I’m not using any additional sensors, I have my schedule set to Flex Daily Schedule.

Same here in Vernon, BC. We’ve had about a week with rain almost every single day, some days as much as 10mm of rain. I wake up this morning and mine has also decided to run both the front and back yard sprinklers and thinks the soil moisture is only at 22%, even though it has been doing rain skips on the garden every single day! It has now turned my mushy yard into a proper swamp.

I don’t understand how it is possible for this thing to be so inconsistent. It even KNOWS we’re getting the rain because the rain skip notifications tell me how much rain we have gotten or are getting (or is that what they even mean?.. they read really weirdly). Does it not count rain for the soil moisture calculation? That seems like such a fundamental thing I find it hard to believe they would overlook it.

I will have the team followup with our weather provider to see if they fully support interpolated precipitation (Weather Intelligence Plus) data in Canada.

For now, I would choose a PWS and my bet is you will immediately see different results. Did a simple test and the missing precipitation from yesterday immediately showed up on your moisture graph.



I was just trying to look into this and I am more confused than ever. Something is REALLY broken here. If I go to weather underground and check the history for a particular weather station I can see realistic precipitation numbers, somewhere 0.6in on July 4, 0.3in on July 5. After selecting this weather station then viewing the soil moisture graph on the Rachio site I see 0.05, 0.04 (cm??? it doesn’t say the units!) respectively for those days. I’ve attached screenshots as proof.

What is going on with the numbers there?.. has somebody converted from inches to mm thinking it was cm?.. or converted multiple times? No wonder it’s watering so often.

Also, somewhat related, what’s the deal with those fill and empty buttons?.. They can’t be undone and I can’t even tell what they really do since they just change the moisture level for today to either 100% or 50% and that seems to have no effect on future days?

It look like our weather provider does not support Canada for precipitation interpolation. You will need to definitely choose a PWS. I will work with the engineering team on making a PWS default for our Canadian users.

From our weather provider:

Currently, the precipitation summary endpoint only provides data for the continental United States. That being said, in the future we are looking to expand the scope of the data we provide, so this is certainly a consideration for future updates. Please let me know if you have any follow-up questions!


Thank you. I have gone ahead and changed my weather provider to a single station 1.17km away and will investigate getting my own PWS.

Where on the Rachio site do you go to see that information? I looked and couldn’t find it anywhere!

Thanks for the information - unfortunately the PWSs near me seem to either not report rain or only report it intermittently. On days where we’ve gotten significant rain I see they report none and yet on other days they seem to report accurately. Selecting a single PWS has yielded poor results for myself. I guess I’ll have to buy some gear and set up a weather underground station for myself.

Also this doesn’t really explain the discrepancy I posted above where I had a PWS selected and still the Rachio app/site reported very different results.

He looked up the PWS his Rachio is set to on the site. You can search for the PWS by name and get a bit more detailed information about the site. I don’t believe ALL PWS can be found on that site though…

I am a Canadian user in Toronto Ontario. Does your comment mean that the Weather Intelligence Plus feature is not available to anyone purchasing your hardware and using it in Canada? Does this also mean that to use the Flex* features a PWS must be chosen?
Thank you,

WI Plus is available, but does not interpolate precipitation data. If you choose a PWS the underlying software will correctly use precipitation data from that station. All other features will work the same.


Thank you for the quick response. I think making a PWS default for Canadian users of your hardware a good start, and I would ask that you also make this limitation clear in the documentation and resources you provide online. This may be a new request suggestion, but would it be terribly difficult for your software to allow a Canadian user such as myself (or any user for that matter) to manually define a collection trusted, local PWSs, then have WI+ interpolate the precipitation data for just the chosen stations?
Thank you,

Wanted to bump this thread from 2019 up as we’ve been getting a few days of slight rain in Toronto but Rachio isn’t skipping automatically.

I looked into the historical data for Toronto and it looks like WUnderground isn’t graphing things properly. We had a thunderstorm on Sunday July 19th and historical info shows 0 inches of rain. Looking at monthly historical info for 2020 and it all shows 0 inches of rain.

I suspect my local PWS (ITORON4) has the same issue. WUnderground is saying 0 inches or rain, so Rachio never skips waterings.