Rachio pulls inaccurate airport data (KRDU)


#1

Could you please check into this situation from your end, Rachio team?
We had a very good soak (all area stations seem to report between 1.6-2 inches for May 5 (KRDU reports 1.48 on attached daily chart, even though they had it at 1.74 during May 5, while the hourly chart suggests the total to be above 1.8).

My Rachio pulls a meager 0.52 inches from KRDU, or an inch different from what the website says.
These discrepancies can easily trigger a premature irrigation event where non is needed.

Last but not least, in our area with quite heavy downpours, the ability to fill the capacity to 120% would really be great to have back.

Any help would be highly appreciated.
Heiri


#2

I so agree with this! I am having to go in manually and mark zones with FILL once they get under 100% because my soil is just so saturated. I also temporarily changed my allowed depletions to higher percentages to also help with the problem. Come summer I will need to switch them back.


#3

@hgugger

There is a discrepancy here. I’ve opened a ticket with our weather provider and will let you know what their response is.

Thanks for reporting!

:cheers:


#4

Linn and @franz: maybe the max field capacity could be made user definable, since there seem to be people maybe in different geographies, having legitimate reasons to feel strongly about 110 or 120?

The FILL/EMPTY adjustment was a bit tricky for me last year, as it didn’t take immediate effect (if I remember correctly, had to do with the calc cycle before irrigation start). I wish, we could change incremental inches or %, rather than all or nothing corrections.


#5

Hey @hgugger-

I think we have two separate issues- one with reporting and one with the cap on field capacity. Hopefully Aeris will be able to solve our reporting issues. As for field capacity issues, this will be resolved in our upcoming software release! I also like the %/in adjustment to moisture rather than a hard empty/fill. Will make sure to log this for the team!

McKynzee :rachio:


#6

I agree with you. Hoping this is something that will come out with V3. And this year, at least the FILL, takes place immediately. For the most part I like that, although I wish that if there was precip predicted/and/or occurred that it would recalculate to 100% at the end of the day. I think I’m starting to understand why it wasn’t an immediate effect last year!


#7

Hi Franz,
I haven’t seen an improvement yet, and below please find more evidence of rather significant differences what you see KRDU report and what RACHIO pulls from KRDU (>110% of field capacity in one case). KNCRALEI221 is my nearest station, but KRDU is only 1.7miles away.

I also observe that when I sometimes go back a few days later, history seems to get rewritten. First I thought I was just unable to write numbers down correctly, but since it has happened repeatedly, I would need to annotate every change.

The inaccuracy of the base data combined with the moisture forecast shake my confidence a bit. You can easily see that my .46 in top (110% field capacity) is quite sensitive to .53 in differences in readout.
Also, in the graph below, you see me (or better rachio) irrigate a full round on May 21, right ahead of a forecasted weather system. I understand that scattered showers are difficult to get, but large area wide soaks are different.

SUGGESTION: currently irrigation seems an all or nothing when level at 0. In the case above, and having seen projected rain not coming through, it would be great to be able to instruct the system (from your software, or user doing it manually) to only go 30% or whatever fraction, as a safety. This could save quite a lot of water, while still dealing with the uncertainty of forecasts.

Has something changed that I am not aware of. It seemed more accurate last year…
Thanks for all your great help on this forum.


#8

I too am curious about your May 22 data. The May 23 - May 25 data I think I understand. Right now, Precipitation is where the adjustment for the 110% cap shows. So the numbers for those dates will most likely not match the weather station numbers. I’m beginning to think that the moisture level details would be a easier to understand if Precipitation showed in the same way that Irrigation does, with more detail. One row for the total, and then subrows for the recorded Precip and the adjustment needed for the saturation cap.

And I am experiencing problems on the other end, after a large amount of rain. Luckily I was both home this week to be able to look at and fell my soil, and have a rain sensor, or my system would have been trying to water today after several days of .5 to 1 inch of rain each day. My rain sensor still has not dried out, and I also set a rain delay to make sure it didn’t water. But I don’t want to have to do manual intervention.


#9

@hgugger

I followed up with Aeris again today regarding the inaccurate precipitation. I’ll let you know what information they are able to provide.

:cheers:


#10

Thank you!


#11

@hgugger

Wanted to provide feedback on this. Latest from our weather provider.

Franz,

After discussing further with the API team, the issue has been found and they are working on a resolution. Specifically, this station send the 24 max precip at 7:51am vs including it in the last hour of the day which is the standard procedure for METARs. This caused the observations/summary to not process this correctly.

The team is working on a resolution now. I will update once this has been resolved.
Tony
AerisWeather Support
http://support.aerisweather.com/


#12

Thanks so much for getting to the root cause. Tony’s explanation also makes intuitive sense as it feels consistent with my observations, and some of the revisions on later days for an earlier value. The variation of course “tricks” the rachio decision algorithm between midnight and 7:51a.


#13

Good morning Franz,
since my problems with the RDU Int’l Airport weather station continue, I am looking for your advice, as I am in a “garbage in, garbage out” situation, which defeats the purpose of your great device.

For June 5, Wunderground reports 1.54in, my neighborhood station 2.06in, while rachio comes in at .4in. When clicking on the link on rachio’s “change weather station” then my KRDU station, I get to http://w1.weather.gov/obhistory/KRDU.html , where I find the detail supporting 1.54in from WU.

Now that I know that I still cannot trust KRDU’s actuals and therefore the rachio irrigation decision calculation based on these actuals, it raises the following questions:

If I switch to a neighborhood PWS for actuals, where does the forecast get pulled from?
Since actuals from KRDU are flawed, can we trust their forecast and timing for a solid rachio irrigation decision?
are we sure it’s KRDU and not Aeris, causing this API issue? If not, a wider user group might be affected. I have a hard time to believe that I am the only one that experiences rachio irrigation decisions that are inconsistent with on the ground weather observations…
@Linn , you seemed to have a similar concern in an earlier post. With the weather system that just passed our area, you might have some telling observations?

Since rachio is a truly data driven device, we truly depend on quality source data for FLEX DAILY.
Thanks for your efforts in pushing this topic to a resolution!
Heiri