PWS Averaging

I understand that PWS accuracy can be variable. It would be nice if we could select multiple PWSs and average them. Maybe also with a commercial or national weather station.

I have three PWS within a half mile and the nearest non-PWS is 8.5 miles away. Due to the geography here, I can have different weather than 8 miles away.

I would love to be able to use the average of the three PWS, maybe with the nearest non-PWS station.

It might also be nice to be able to set up a back up weather station, in case the PWS I am using goes offline.

(Maybe the solution is to get my own PWS…)


@Chapin, great ideas! We’ll share these with the product team for future consideration. Are you seeing the rain/precip data as inaccurate?

Just curious, if you were to get your own PWS, which one would you consider purchasing?

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I’m a new user, don’t have experience with PWS around here to know if they are accurate. I would expect there is a higher risk they could fail or be more innacurate than a commercial WS.

I have not idea what PWS I’d choose. I’d turn to here for recs maybe.

A PWS is not in my short term plan, although it would be fun…

@Chapin, I hate to say this is the truth for all PWS as some provide excellent data. It all comes down to placement and maintenance by the PWS owner. They all report their data online, so I’d recommend viewing the last week and seeing if it’s accurate to what you expected it to be.

I’ll let some users share their favorites with you. Here was a discussion from last summer on the topic.

Agreed :smile:

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Agreed, being able to average multiple weather stations would be an excellent improvement. We see drastic rainfall differences over a couple of miles either direction along the I-35 corridor in Central Texas.

@SmartWaterTX, are the weather stations in your area not reporting the correct rainfall totals as you observe? Just curious if you’re seeing any trends of rainfall reporting being more or less than actual?

I second @chapin suggestion!!! I have similiar problems here in NC. My nearest non-PWS stations are over 10 and 15 miles away. Rainfall can be DRASTICALLY different!!! (I will never forget watching a Carolina Panthers game one day where the stadium had waterfalls occurring and people had to clear out of the bottom row of seats, and I was looking out my window at blue sky and not ONE drop of rain! - and I was only 13 miles away!)

My closest PWS stations are still 5-6 miles away. I have one 2.5 miles away that is pretty good, but for some reason it was showing on Rachio for quite a while as having no recorded precip data, even though I could see it on the findu data, and the owner of the PWS even checked it for me. So an average might be a better way of handling it. Rain/precip data is definitely the biggest problem for me.

IMHO, I would bet that averaging multiple PWS stations would help out a whole lot of people!

Thanks for confirming @Linn.

Yes, actual rainfall amount can vary quite a bit over a few miles. This is why I still recommend a “smart” controller with a tipping rain bucket sensor on-site by a green & white competitor (but whole-heartedly see the value of Rachio and the opportunity for advancement with the software compared to the others).

Here is an example from last week. The closest official weather station was way off from several nearby PWS in precip. As you know with PWS, they aren’t all that reliable, one was missing data for several days around that rain event, hence a reason to have an option to average (with the logic to ignore stations with missing data, wouldn’t want to average a zero data point).!22419&authkey=!AJZDknplerFctVU&v=3&ithint=photo%2Cpng

Here’s an example of how drastic it can vary around here:!1910&authkey=!AGj1IikhO3lVxEc&v=3&ithint=photo%2Cpng