Author Topic: How Can We Up The WX IQ?  (Read 2607 times)

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Offline WeatherHost

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How Can We Up The WX IQ?
« on: November 09, 2014, 06:12:32 PM »
Most of the threads here deal with stations and websites, which is fine.  Nothing wrong with that at all.

The weather threads though seem to be quite superficial  (Oh, look Snow!!  Wow!).  And even that's OK to an extent.

But there is very little meat here.  Models, forecasts discussions, trends, analysis, etc.  Even the severe weather threads when there are any don't delve into the whys of things happening.

There are other sites out there like Storm2K, EasternWX and a few others, but they go overboard.  Lots of Pro Mets chipping in, but there is an air of pretentiousness.  Lots of attitude and arrogance. (Thou shalt not speaketh ill of the Pros!!)

We need to explore ways to strike a balance between this site and those.  More meat without the 'tude.

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Offline ocala

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Re: How Can We Up The WX IQ?
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2014, 07:29:07 PM »
Weatherhost I think a lot of the "meatless" discussions are because we lack a lot of mets. Most backgrounds here are in electronics and part time web site design. Nothing wrong with that but this site was originally started as an alternative to the weather station forums  that Accuweather bought out. Can't remember the name but those forums were specifically  about weather stations. This site has expanded into a whole lot more then it was when it started but it just never attracted the pro-met crowd, hence the it's "snowing here" threads.
I have visited the sites you spoke of and others and it gets pretty ridiculous in terms of this guy loving this model and this one wish casting for his general area. Kind of a turn off really.
That being said it would be nice if we had more mets who could explain why this and that happens and their forecasts for a particular storm. I know I would be interested to hear what they say.
On the other side of the coin I like hearing from John in Alaska with the crazy weather up there.

Offline WeatherHost

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Re: How Can We Up The WX IQ?
« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2014, 03:03:50 PM »
With some of the stuff I've been seeing posted lately, I guess this won't happen.
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Offline yahtah

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Re: How Can We Up The WX IQ?
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2014, 01:02:51 AM »
I've been lurking (and making a few posts) while trying to learn about my new "hobby". I'd suggest a section for NooBs to learn about how to read the data from their stations, and how to report it and why they should send it to... wherever. I'd also like to see a specific thread about setting up a station to report standard info that can be acceptable to NOAA. I will start by posting a link to the requirements NOAA has set forth.

Maybe we can set some standards here that future station operators can easily follow when setting up their own stations. (I know of two other micro climate observers that have set up stations in my area since I set up mine.) This forum can be a starting point for rookies with a Basics to Reporting section or something similar.

« Last Edit: December 06, 2014, 01:04:33 AM by yahtah »

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Offline wxtech

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Re: How Can We Up The WX IQ?
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2014, 08:55:15 AM »
I like the format here hence why I stayed.  I morphed from other technology to weather station electronics eqpt maintenance, working in US Air Force weather stations.  I didn't do their forecasts and they didn't fix my wx eqpt.  I learned right off, that I'd get into a lot of trouble if I predicted weather, even repeating what I'd heard the station forecasters talking about. 
Even today, owning the county wx web site, I don't do forecasting.  I refer everyone to NWS.
You need to know a little about weather to set up a proper wx station.  We have established references for that.  Your reference is a good abbreviated start.  You won't get all the info you need online.  Expand your source by purchasing the book, "The Weather Observers Handbook".  Join CoCoRaHS.  Our county rain observers group has annual meetings with popular lectures by mets.  Our November rain meeting was attended by people of 9 counties.  We got snow sticks, snow boards, and learned how to report the white stuff.  In central Georgia we don't remember how to measure snow and ice.   CoCoRaHS has webinars, even a recent one about who uses our observations.  Volunteer to become an NWS Co-Op Observer.  The experience and professional contact is priceless.
Al Washington, Lexington, Ga.,  NWS Coop station=LXTG1, Fischer Porter, SRG, MMTS. 
CoCoRaHS=GA-OG-1. CWOP=CW2074.  Davis VP2+ WLIP 5.9.2, VP(original) serial, VWS v15.00 p02. ImageSalsa, Win7 & Win8 all-in-one.

Offline ValentineWeather

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Re: How Can We Up The WX IQ?
« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2014, 09:02:13 AM »
Feel same as wxtech. I'm not a forecaster more of a hobbyist into setting up equipment as close to standards as possible.
Enjoy sharing my data and only got into the website thing so I could check my data and it took off from there when I found others interested in the data also.

Offline Cutty Sark Sailor

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Re: How Can We Up The WX IQ?
« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2014, 10:14:58 AM »
...CoCoRaHS...webinars, "The Weather Observers Handbook"
Yep, and the training videos and webinars are often quite brain-filling..

"The Weather Observers Handbook
Kindle edition at   


Offline miraculon

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Re: How Can We Up The WX IQ?
« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2014, 10:25:43 AM »
I was going to suggest some kind of decoder chart for some of the more terse text products, but I see that NWS beat me to it. They have links to explain the various terms, which is kind of nice.

Here is our local NWS page to illustrate the example:Text Area Forecast Discussion

For example, ECMWF has a link that explains what that means, among others. I have had to create cheat-sheets for the various radar products KDP, ZDR, SW, etc. and look up what they mean. NWS had some nice training resources on that subject as well.

Although in my youth I wanted to be a Meteorologist, I opted for Electronics Engineering as a career. I have been keenly interested in Weather since I was quite young and with the help of Dad built weather instruments out of spare parts and magazine articles. Of course I am interested in the Meteorology and want to learn more, but my "hobby" is the equipment and web interfaces. Now that I am retired, I can spend more time on that pursuit. I also like WxForum for what it is and the help offered and asked for.

wxtech, same here for neighbors asking for the "forecast". I am constantly reminding them that I don't make forecasts and that it comes from NWS.

Greg H.

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Offline floodcaster

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Re: How Can We Up The WX IQ?
« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2014, 01:07:03 PM »
I'd also like to see a specific thread about setting up a station to report standard info that can be acceptable to NOAA.

If you send data to CWOP, it is available to NOAA/NWS.

Offline Dr Obbins

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Re: How Can We Up The WX IQ?
« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2014, 10:15:11 PM »
I enjoy observing the weather in all it has to offer, from the most pleasant and beautiful to the worst and dangerous (from a distance ;)). I know enough and understand what is going on and like to have enough notice ahead of time to enjoy the shows. So I am happy just watching the snow and don't really want to get in too depth of all the detailed science behind it by trying to predict how many inches we will get. Basically I like to enjoy the art in the gallery with out being an artiest.

As a spin off to the weather hobby, I have enjoyed learning and building the website.

Offline geofb13

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Re: How Can We Up The WX IQ?
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2015, 07:40:52 PM »
I've been off the site for the last month with the holidays and work, but I thought I'd chime in for folks who would like to learn more of the science behind things and how a lot of Mets are taught to look at the models or data to make a forecast. If that helps then they could use their beefed up WX knowledge to post about more things here on the forum possibly. With that said, if people haven't already been using it and do want to learn more I'd strongly suggest going to the UCAR MetEd site. I haven't logged in within the last year until now but from what I can tell from just glancing around they've been hard at work adding even more free courses to take online. A lot of the courses are available to download in PDF format or you can go through them at your leisure with all of the bells and whistles. A good handful of these courses were intertwined into my degree work in different classes, specifically the Synoptic and Meso-scale classes but also in my Meteorological Instrumentation, Radar Meteorology, Tropical Meteorology, and Climate classes. So if you'd like to give it a look and sign up please go ahead and do so. It's available for free for non-commerical use to everyone not just for students or professionals in the field.

As for myself, I haven't added my two cents to most of the discussions because of two things. First, I didn't really know or think it was something that people wanted on here. As most of the comments on this thread have pointed out already, a lot of people are here as hobbyists or have come to Meteorology from the electronic and instrumentation side of things. Secondly, I don't spend enough time looking at models to really add anything to most of the discussions. With my current job I generally only look at weather forecasts as part of my end goal which is to create a better weather data network and to help use that data to create better information for the consumers that I work with. If folks would like more input I can try to be more aware to the threads and chime in when I can but most of my free time is during the winter haha.