Non-motoring > Local Weather App Computing Issues
Thread Author: Ambo Replies: 16

 Local Weather App - Ambo
Can posters recommend a local-based weather app please? I am only interested in the local forecast, not national or wider.
 Local Weather App - Zero
Depends on your phone. Dark Skies was the best for short range hyperlocal, but its Iphone only

The rest I have found to be useless.
 Local Weather App - Terry
The UK Met Office is as good as any and probably better than most.

All weather apps are driven by complex computer weather models and data, and the Met Office generate the most detailed weather models over the UK.

They may sell/provide data to other app providers who incorporate it in their apps - but it is probably better to go to the organ grinder rather than the monkey.

Other apps may use US or European data which is unlikely to be as accurate.
 Local Weather App - Clk Sec
I use XCWeather, recommended by someone else on here a few years ago.
 Local Weather App - Terry
XC weather base their forecast on a US model which has grid points at 27km intervals.

The Met Office high resolution model has grid points at 1.5km intervals.

Both the UK and US sit comfortably at the top of national met service premier division in terms of global model accuracy.

An objective assessment would suggest the Met Office is likely to be materially better - although the user interface may lead the ill informed to think otherwise.
 Local Weather App - Zero
the Met Office is likely to be materially better -
>> although the user interface may lead the ill informed to think otherwise.

Thats a ridiculous statement. A forecast is only as good the information presented to the intended audience.
 Local Weather App - smokie
We use Weather & Widget - Weawow

play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.weawow&gl=GB

Was recommended to SWMBO and seems as good as any.

Sometimes cross reference with BBC Weather.

play.google.com/store/search?q=weather%20bbc&c=apps&gl=GB

There was one which I heard is the favourite of pilots but I can't remember the name of it.

I would have thought the underlying data was the same, the apps deliver it differently.
 Local Weather App - VxFan
I just use the default one that Apple put on my iPhone. Seems to be as accurate (or inaccurate) as all the others.
 Local Weather App - Terry
I can 100% assure that:

- not all weather apps use the same data
- weather models tend to be optimised to enhance accuracy in their intended main markets
- civil aviation has 2 world area forecast centres - US and UK - they are the best

Computer models are not all the same. They vary in grid size, the way in which topography is represented, number of different levels in their atmospheric models etc.

For a grid point in (say) North Somerset the next one going north could be South Wales. Location could be 1000ft on the Quantocks, sea level in Minehead, middle of Bristol Channel.

Models with a large grid have to interpolate between grid points. How well they do it depends on how they integrate the topography which can create different solutions depending upon which way the wind is blowing.

Research has shown most folk do not understand percentages (not on this forum I am sure). But does a 25% probability of rain mean (a) it will rain for one quarter of the time step in the forecast, or (b) 3 out of 4 locations covered by the forecast will get no rain.

People capabilities and needs vary - eg: windsurfers will often be well informed about weather and why it is important, family going to seaside only really want to know if the sun will shine. Different needs = different apps.

Not just true of weather - any app wanting users needs to present information which is superficially easy to access, appears unambiguous and in language the user understands.

A user unfriendly app will be perceived as less accurate, less useful etc, and over time have fewer users, irrespective of whether it is more or less accurate - perceptions not objectivity rule!
 Local Weather App - Ambo
Apologies, as I fear I may have led astray with the wrong use of "App", which appears to refer to smart phones. I don't have one and I meant something I could have on my computer desk top.
 Local Weather App - Terry
Whether presented as an app or web page for any company (eg: Accuweather, BBC etc etc) the data that drives the graphics and content will almost certainly come from the same model.

Using different sets of data risks the forecast on the app being different to the web page - daft!
 Local Weather App - Rudedog
Very relevant topic.... I have both the BBC app and Met office and recently (past two weeks) have been scratching my head some of the completely opposite forecasts for where I live especially when I needed to plan some outdoor work over the weekends.

I didn't which one to go by as one had rain for much of one day while the other just had light cloud.... both still completely missed the heavy thunder and lightning storm we had last Saturday night!

 Local Weather App - Terry
The Met Office obviously run their own models and produce their own forecasts.

The BBC get their weather from Meteogroup. Meteogroup get their data from a variety of sources but it is not clear how much of the BBC service is underpinned by Met Office data.

For my location in Somerset just now there are some differences in temperature, probability of rain, cloud, sun. Both show a showery changeable day with fairly average temperatures.

Why the differences:

- the way in which both process and present the data will be somewhat different
- the weather models may come from different sources with different grid sizes etc
- weather models may embed timing differences eg: was the model run at 06.00 or 09.00

You have a choice:

- subscribe to several apps and make your own assessment,
- choose the one that you believe has the most credibility and stick with it
- accept that if sites are showing different outcomes the forecast is inherently low confidence
 Local Weather App - Dog
Been quite nice in my region of Cornwall today. I had to dig a grave (don't ask!) and according to the Met Office forecast, I would be getting wet.

The Met Office forecasts can be spot on at times, but it only takes a change in the wind speed/direction for it to be way orf.

 Local Weather App - tyrednemotional
>> I had to dig a grave (don't ask!) and according to the Met Office forecast, I would be getting wet.


...they thought you were digging a well....
 Local Weather App - Dog
Well, it could have become a well if the rain had arrived.
 Local Weather App - Kevin
For the most accurate forecast you're likely to get, go here:

www.ecmwf.int/en/forecasts/charts

Much of their product is not accessible to Joe Public but some forecasts are available under "Medium-range charts" and a combined ensemble under "Meteograms". I'd recommend the meteograms. Click on the 3 bars top right and enter a town/city or lat/longitude and it will generate a 10 day forecast.

ECMWF has always been a global leader in forecast accuracy although that may have changed since I left ;-)
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