Rain forecasted for weeks, but none comes

Our weather forecast the last few weeks has called for rain several times, and then we do not get it. Each time the Rachio skips runs correctly based off of the forecast, which has been great for saving money. However, not so great for my lawn. Should the Rachio know that the rain didn’t come and adjust schedule based off what the actual weather has been?

Are you using Weather Intelligence of a specific weather station? When you look in history is there a notice at the beginning of your run similar to the screen shot below. Note that the projected precipitation in my are using Weather Intelligence was 0.40 which would have caused the run to be skipped. But the run wasn’t skipped because the actual precipitation was 0.00. Did you get a similar notice and if so what did it say?

Based on my observations with the Flex Daily schedule, yes. The precipitation for the past day should be zero. So that would prove it is seeing that update from local weather stations.

From what I can tell, the system plans to water when the previous day’s ending moisture level / starting day’s moisture level, plus the anticipated precipitation, would be lower than the amount of moisture anticipated to be lost that day. If a lot of rain is expected I would believe it would prevent the irrigation from running (as you’ve seen).

That’s not been my experience using a Flex Monthly schedule. See the screen shot I posted earlier. In my experience Rachio checks the actual precipitation just before a run and if the actual precipitation is not equal to or greater than the rain skip setting it does not skip the run. I don’t know if that is different from how it works in a Flex Daily schedule

@benbigh , do you have Saturation Skip enabled for this schedule? Maybe this is what is causing the skip?

That’s not been my experience using a Flex Monthly schedule.

Good call, I’m using the Flex Daily schedule. I added that clarification to my original note.

You are also correct about the checks at midnight and an hour before the planned run. My guess based on observations was that if sufficient rain was anticipated, then no run would occur. This still leaves the door open to not enough rain falling and ultimately the schedule being skipped when water was needed.

I do yes, @moisture. But @benbigh was the OP so that and the other schedule data might be good to share with us.

There is no Saturation Skip for Flex Daily. I’ll update my post to mention OP.

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Yup you’re right. There’s not a skip saturation. I turned on “all of the skips” :slight_smile:

I seem to have this problem a couple of times every summer. Rachio is just following the forecast, but I know from experience, unless the chance of rain is at least 40%, I’m probably not going to get a darn thing. And in our area, rain can be REALLY localized (to the point that one of my friends had rain on half her deck today and NOT the other half!). So it’s not really Rachio’s fault – they can only do what the weather forecasters think is going to happen. That said, in the summer, our weather forecast is normally for a chance of rain EVERY afternoon, and who knows when that actually does occur.

So, this is the one time where I kinda have to monitor the system, and if it occurs for more than a day or two, I manually run the schedule.

So what is the conclusion of this?

I have slowly moved down from Flex Monthly, to Flex Daily because I felt it just wasn’t watering enough to just Daily when I planted all these new perennials in my parkway and I wanted to “over” water them to help the transition. Well I initially had rain skip checked and it kept skipping them cause rain was expected and then it didn’t actually rain and my plants bake in the 90deg sun without water. So now I turned that off as well and am forced to waste water on days it rains with regularity. Curious if there’s a better way…

@sethpf are you using weather intelligence or have you selected a specific weather station? If the latter what is the weather station and have you looked at it to see what precipitation it is reporting and whether it matches the pricipitation at your house?

Where would I navigate in the menu to find that out? I don’t actively remember picking anything but if I had to guess, it’d be weather intelligence.

The path is
More->Controller Settings->Weather Intelligence->Weather Data Source

A couple of other things - did you set rain skip on in your schedule? What is the rain skip threshold set to? For my Flex Monthly schedule the system checks before each run and I get a message in history that indicates what is happening relative to the weather - see the screen print below. Check your history to see if there is any information.

Sorry for my delay (I have an 3 month old :slight_smile: ) When navigating to More->Controller Settings->Weather Intelligence->Weather NETWORK it says Weather Network (not weather station) so i assume this is what you were looking for?

I originally had Rain Skip on my schedule but I turned it off when all my plants were cooking. Now i turn it on when it’s very clearly about to rain and turn it off when it’s still up in the air (not very automated i know!). Complicating things is that the Parkway is under some huge trees that blocks quite a bit of the rain from reaching the plants. So I guess it would be nice to specifically not have rain skip on for just that zone.

My rain skip threshold is set to .125" or more? should I dial that up? Wind threshold is 20mph Freeze 32deg fyi.

P.S. I should also mention that a number of my small trees (some japanese maples) are getting some pretty bad sun scorch, and I’m afraid they aren’t getting enough water either. I’m curious if one of the reasons the intelligence doesn’t work that well for me is because its a city lot and the dirt depth is atypical, but maybe the experts here on the forum have a take on that:)

@sethpf did you look in history to see why rain skip was being triggered when you say there was no rain.

Ah my bad, no. It’s been a while now since rain skip has been enabled. However, I can pretty conclusively say that rain was in fact EXPECTED during the day when rain skip was activated (I’m pretty attuned to the weather with a 3 year old in quarantine), it just didn’t come, repeatably, and my plants baked in the sun. So I guess it acted as expected, though 4-5 days in a row, and just very unfortunate for my plants. I feel like a bit of a failure using the Daily schedule and would like to move to one of the flexes, but when I had them enabled it was watering like once a month, which seems crazy. I think really I need the parkway, with it’s rain shelter, on a daily with no rain skip and everything else with on one of the flexes, but with a greater attention to the inputs (soil depth, type, etc)

I’m curious, what version firmware are you all on?

My rachio 3 is on v632. One of my zones ran this morning (23 July) and I was surprised because my anticipated moisture level is now at 110%.

I do have rain skip on (0.125”) and no rain sensors. I’m running a flex daily schedule.

What I notice: I start today with 0.01 inches of water (5%). I am anticipating to lose 0.17 inches of water (Et) and see 0.32 inches of rain at some point in the day.

However it looks like rachio determined I needed to water my lawn (start - Et < 0) and did so since the rain wasn’t going to happen in/around when it needed to run (I’ve read that the system checks to see if rain will occur within an hour of the start time).

Am I interpreting this correctly? That seems to be not what you all are seeing.

Guessing a bit here, but I think this is what might have happened. An hour before your schedule is supposed to run, Rachio checked to see what precipitation was expected on that calendar day (the hour before check is precip for the day, as I understand it, not precip actually occuring in the next hour). Not enough precip was predicted, so the system ran. Then when it checked again 12 hours later, the forecast had changed.

From your tag, I’m guessing you live in NC – I’m in Charlotte and we have been having absolutely crazy weather, spotty rain, and unforecasted rain. For example, the other night I was watching the news and all they were talking about was the 1-3 inches of rain everyone got. I’m in the burbs about a 15-20 minute drive from uptown, and I didn’t get a single drop! Then last night no rain at all was predicted, but around 11pm I got a thunderstorm and half an inch of rain! - it appears that the forecasts are constantly changing due to all the heat and the pop up storms that it causes.