Why did my flex daily water when there was precipitation?

Hi Franz, I had an issue last night I am hoping you can help with - it rained yesterday, a good amount. The system wasn’t supposed to water today, but it did anyhow. When i look in the app, it looks like it recorded no rain yesterday. When i go into wunderground, for my station killongg3, it does show rain - the accumulation was .54 inches but then it looks like it suddenly goes down to 0. Wunderground is alos taking a long time to load this data - maybe there is a problem with wunderground or the station? Thoughts?


I’m having the engineering team review for you, will let you know what is found.


Thanks. FYI - in the mean time I manually moved all of my zones to “fill” and changed to a different station that appears to be reporting the precipitation accurately.

@ejquin - Moving this conversation to the public forum, I usually like to have these discussions public.

I had the engineering team review. The station you had selected KILLONGG3 is not reporting precipitation.

That is why the schedule watered.

It looks like you did choose another station this morning that is reporting precipitation.

2018-05-31 13:12:24,999 [RequestId=3FAAA4BC-38D2-4252-BF79-9A299E1E1619, Requester=c7a5f803-51ce-43f0-9e33-09c4b3d90ae7] DEBUG STI ##H=cv=v3 iOS 1059, M=UpdateLocationWeatherStation, Req=location_id: "be54d81e-f185-408c-bdc4-cb9051a45a4e"station_id: “KILLAKEZ36”##

Hope this helps!


What’s interesting is that if you look at May 30 for the station I was ussing KILLONGG3, you’ll see there was precipitation, the accumulated precip just suddenly went to 0 for some reason:

On the Rachio, it showed no precip yesterday:

Another station nearby showed 0.8 in yesterday:

So, the end result was that, despite getting almost an inch of rain yesterday, the Rachio ran a full cycle this morning.

Not sure what happened with the data from the first station I was using, KILLONGG3. I ended up just manually changing the soil moisture to 100% for all zones today and switching the the KILLAKEZ36 station moving forward.

If we get bad data unfortunately there is nothing we can do to correct. We don’t know it’s bad data.

Here is data for the station in question.

        "stationID": "KILLONGG3",
        "tz": "America/Chicago",
        "obsTimeUtc": "2018-05-31T04:59:56Z",
        "obsTimeLocal": "2018-05-30 23:59:56",
        "epoch": 1527742796,
        "lat": 42.19092178,
        "lon": -88.00706482,
        "solarRadiationHigh": 798.62,
        "uvHigh": 9,
        "winddirAvg": 137,
        "humidityHigh": 79,
        "humidityLow": 27,
        "humidityAvg": 46,
        "imperial": {
            "tempHigh": 82,
            "tempLow": 64,
            "tempAvg": 72,
            "windspeedHigh": 9,
            "windspeedLow": 0,
            "windspeedAvg": 1,
            "windgustHigh": 10,
            "windgustLow": 0,
            "windgustAvg": 1,
            "dewptHigh": 63,
            "dewptLow": 38,
            "dewptAvg": 48,
            "windchillHigh": null,
            "windchillLow": null,
            "windchillAvg": null,
            "heatindexHigh": 82,
            "heatindexLow": 64,
            "heatindexAvg": 72,
            "pressureMax": 29.82,
            "pressureMin": 29.56,
            "pressureTrend": 0,
            "precipRate": 0.99,
            "precipTotal": 0

This brings up another potential issue I’ve seen - there are a number of personal weather stations near me that seem to not report precipitation. I don’t honestly know much about PWS’s, I never really took an interest in them until I got the rachio, but when I chose a weather station near me, I went back and looked at the precipitation history and found many of them had reported no precipitation over long stretches of time, leading me to believe they just do not report precip. So, i made sure to specifically look at precip history and choose a station that seemed to be reporting precip.

How does weather intelligence plus handle this? When it receives data from a station that is not reporting precip, does it know it is not reporting and thus not take it into account? Or does it take it into account and use a 0 precip value (thus lowering the amount of precip it would assume my area recieved)?

And maybe my ultimate question is - would I be better off trying to locate a PWS that is somewhat near me and seems to be reporting accurately? Or to use the WI+?

Thanks to everyone on these forums - your insight is much appreciated.

We can’t determine if a station is reporting bad data. I tried working on this problem with our data scientist and it turned into a fool’s errand fairly quickly :wink:. If the station is clearly offline we fall back to interpolated. The most dangerous station is online but reporting zero or more erroneous precip data.

That’s my recommendation, but that’s just me. I have my own PWS so it’s easy for me to say that.

If you don’t want to stress or worry about a 100% accurately reporting station I’d go with our interpolated approach (don’t select a station, use the weather network). This way you don’t have to worry about weather data and stations going down or not reporting precipitation which takes the burden off the homeowner of making sure they have an accurate reporting station. Interpolated data is great but won’t be exactly the measured amount that a PWS would give you near the house. Some folks want 100% precip data all the time, some folks are OK with it being close.