Author Topic: reporting inaccuracy?  (Read 539 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline danxx

  • Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 105
reporting inaccuracy?
« on: May 01, 2021, 03:02:25 PM »
Is there a way to report obvious inaccuracy or inconsistency in a station? I have five or six stations around me, and one of them reports rainfall that is always about half of what everyone else gets. I don't want to make trouble, but I would like the owner to be aware that there may be some issue. I vaguely recall that there used to be a way to do this.

Offline ocala

  • Forecaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 4017
Re: reporting inaccuracy?
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2021, 07:03:33 PM »
Rainfall can be very spotty and erratic. There may not be an issue at all.
I would monitor it for an extended period  (which you probably have been doing) just to see if the issue continues.
A while back you could contact someone through their WU station page, which is I am assuming you are talking about, but I don't know if you still can.

Offline danxx

  • Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 105
Re: reporting inaccuracy?
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2021, 07:05:37 PM »
As I said, it ALWAYS reports low rainfall numbers. This station is surrounded by stations that report more consistent numbers.
And yes, you used to be able to contact a station, but I don't think you can any more.

Bizarre temperature readings are more common, but I guess WU just accepts those as the price of partnership.

Sure would be nice to know which stations provide accurate data, and which are just-for-fun stations. Much like the rest of the internet, WU feeds you information that is credible, as well as information that is not.

« Last Edit: May 01, 2021, 07:10:26 PM by danxx »

Offline CW2274

  • Forecaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 5908
    • Conditions @ CW2274 West Tucson-Painted Hills Ranch
Re: reporting inaccuracy?
« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2021, 07:53:20 PM »
Sure would be nice to know which stations provide accurate data, and which are just-for-fun stations. Much like the rest of the internet, WU feeds you information that is credible, as well as information that is not.
I'm not a big fan of QC, too many other variables by neighbors. That said, WU is non-existent, although they say otherwise. Right. At least with CWOP sites, MADIS, MesoWest, NWS, you get a fairly good sample of QC. Sure, it's possible to slip through the cracks, just much less likely to find garbage data..and when you do, it's most likely flagged.

Offline danxx

  • Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 105
Re: reporting inaccuracy?
« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2021, 08:04:55 PM »
Hard to not be a fan of QC. Without QC, it's all just a delusion. To some extent, you'd like to believe that in exchange for hosting their site, site managers should be required to adhere to some kind of quality assurance. Without that, it's up to the user to assess quality, and that assessment is done, as I have done, by just comparing values from adjacent stations. We've all seen the maps of stations, where one station is providing simply bizarre numbers. Often, they just ALWAYS provide bizarre numbers. You learn to just ignore those stations when, ideally, that station really needs to be chucked from the host.

Yes, WU exists, as a host. They do a pretty good job as a host, actually. But they pretty much have their eyes closed about what they're hosting.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2021, 08:07:23 PM by danxx »

Offline CW2274

  • Forecaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 5908
    • Conditions @ CW2274 West Tucson-Painted Hills Ranch
Re: reporting inaccuracy?
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2021, 08:17:06 PM »
Hard to not be a fan of QC. Without QC, it's all just a delusion.
Delusion? I don't think so. If every PWS had a requirement of specificity, accuracy, precision, siting requirements, NWS certification, ect. to be required before posting it's data online, I'd wholeheartedly agree with this. That's obviously not the case so QC will always be subjective at best.

Offline danxx

  • Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 105
Re: reporting inaccuracy?
« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2021, 10:13:13 PM »
You know, station managers could be *asked* to compare their results with that of nearby stations, and verify at least consistency. Don't call it a requirement. Call it responsibility. That being said, it should be possible to flag stations that are regularly bogus and which have failed that responsibility.

Right now, I believe it is delusional to simply assume that just because it is posted online, a station output should be taken seriously. There is garbage coming out of some stations, and their station managers seem satisfied with that. Give 'em a black star.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2021, 10:16:40 PM by danxx »

Offline CW2274

  • Forecaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 5908
    • Conditions @ CW2274 West Tucson-Painted Hills Ranch
Re: reporting inaccuracy?
« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2021, 10:36:43 PM »
You know, station managers could be *asked* to compare their results with that of nearby stations, and verify at least consistency. Don't call it a requirement. Call it responsibility.
How noble that would be in a perfect PWS world. Last time I saw, WU had something like over 300,000 PWS that they post on their site, and that was several years ago. I can't even imagine the number of people that plop their pretty, new, sparkling PWS down without any regard or flat out ignorance to what is even basically necessary for somewhat accurate data because WU is the "go to site" for many straight outta the box. Education? Who needs that.... I got me WU!! Absolute recipe for inconsistent, lousy data.

Offline danxx

  • Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 105
Re: reporting inaccuracy?
« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2021, 10:46:13 PM »
That's a very good point, and I have brought up, in previous posts, how undedicated many WU stations are. They come and go, and flake out regularly. Buying a station is a "fun thing" that, when there is a problem, station managers often just lose interest and walk away.

But again, if WU wanted to strive for nobility, there are good ways to do it. They give gold stars. They ought to give black stars, or just give the heave-ho to stations that produce garbage. That being said, there really aren't a lot of stations that produce garbage. I often find two or three within a hundred miles of me. Right now I don't see any.

Offline CW2274

  • Forecaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 5908
    • Conditions @ CW2274 West Tucson-Painted Hills Ranch
Re: reporting inaccuracy?
« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2021, 11:07:12 PM »
You're naive. The ONLY thing WU cares about is "hits" for it's parent IBM. Period. The more, the merrier. Quality is the last word in their vocabulary as it would kill the bottom line.

Offline danxx

  • Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 105
Re: reporting inaccuracy?
« Reply #10 on: May 02, 2021, 11:24:19 AM »
Honestly, I'm not saying whether WU is good/bad/competent/incompetent. I'm just saying that IF you wanted to set up an optimally useful sharing of weather information, you'd arrange to do it with some kind of quality control. Evidently WU has essentially none. This has nothing to do with naivité. Please, try to stay constructive.

Offline ocala

  • Forecaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 4017
Re: reporting inaccuracy?
« Reply #11 on: May 02, 2021, 01:16:27 PM »
A better idea would be to check cocorahs data in your area.  Tipping gauges aren't the best when it comes to accuracy. At least with coco all the gauge's are the same.  Here's a pic of the Austin area.
 [ You are not allowed to view attachments ]
« Last Edit: May 02, 2021, 01:24:10 PM by ocala »

Offline CW2274

  • Forecaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 5908
    • Conditions @ CW2274 West Tucson-Painted Hills Ranch
Re: reporting inaccuracy?
« Reply #12 on: May 02, 2021, 04:36:21 PM »
Evidently WU has essentially none. This has nothing to do with naivité. Please, try to stay constructive.
Really? Constructive? Sounds like you learned something to me... WU will never have QC. They can't even run what they have. I stand by my opinion.

Offline danxx

  • Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 105
Re: reporting inaccuracy?
« Reply #13 on: May 02, 2021, 04:53:52 PM »
Great. Good to stand by one's opinions. I have no illusion that WU would do this. Never suggested they would. If you read what I actually said, "If you wanted to set up an optimally useful sharing of weather information" ... .    I'm just suggesting that if SOMEONE wanted to do the job right, it's pretty clear that's what they would do. I feel it constructive to consider what WU OUGHT to do, if it wanted to do the job properly. Standing firm.

Offline CW2274

  • Forecaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 5908
    • Conditions @ CW2274 West Tucson-Painted Hills Ranch
Re: reporting inaccuracy?
« Reply #14 on: May 02, 2021, 05:15:24 PM »
I'm just suggesting that if SOMEONE wanted to do the job right, it's pretty clear that's what they would do.
Oh sure, you can "what if" anything. There was a member here about five-six years ago (bout the time WU started downhill) that stated he had this giant main-frame and all the computing power necessary to basically "take over" WU. He actually had the board stirred up over the possibility that he could give us a new wx site and make it the way wx folks wanted it, not computer geeks. Never heard from him again.... That was my "what if". 

Offline danxx

  • Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 105
Re: reporting inaccuracy?
« Reply #15 on: May 02, 2021, 05:18:37 PM »
No "what ifs" going on here. The question would be, if you wanted to design a good service for sharing weather info, how would you do it? I'm suggesting that some trouble be taken to achieve quality assurance. If someone does come in with a giant mainframe and wants to take over WU and do it right, that's one question I would ask them.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2021, 06:24:54 PM by danxx »

Offline jwreynoldson

  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 33
Re: reporting inaccuracy?
« Reply #16 on: May 02, 2021, 06:14:36 PM »
I don't know this is a relevant observation, but I've noticed that stations with anomalous temperature readings compared with other local ones  tend to disappear from the map that shows on my PWS dashboard. Including my own, which embarrassingly is having some issues with overreading at lower temperatures right now. I'm assuming it's WU QC filtering out wildly anomalous reading stations from the map in real time.

Offline danxx

  • Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 105
Re: reporting inaccuracy?
« Reply #17 on: May 02, 2021, 06:23:27 PM »
That would be interesting to know. I believe I have seen similar things happen. Would be interesting to know if it is WU that is taking some responsibility, or whether actual station managers are doing it. Now, if WU was filtering, it wouldn't take a human observer to flag it, such that you'd think that wildly anomalous reading would never ever even appear.

I think a fair question is whether WU does ANY QC/QA, or they if just run a server and don't care squat about what appears on it.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2021, 06:25:34 PM by danxx »

Offline jwreynoldson

  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 33
Re: reporting inaccuracy?
« Reply #18 on: May 02, 2021, 06:26:47 PM »
I've only really noticed it because my own station always disappears off the dashboard map when it's reading an anomalous temperature.

Offline danxx

  • Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 105
Re: reporting inaccuracy?
« Reply #19 on: May 02, 2021, 06:38:19 PM »
Ah, so that means that WU must be doing something! It would make some sense if, in removing your station from the dashboard map, they'd get in touch with you to tell you that there was an issue.

Offline CW2274

  • Forecaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 5908
    • Conditions @ CW2274 West Tucson-Painted Hills Ranch
Re: reporting inaccuracy?
« Reply #20 on: May 02, 2021, 06:46:11 PM »
I think a fair question is whether WU does ANY QC/QA, or they if just run a server and don't care squat about what appears on it.
They "supposedly" do QC on the temp, but I heard that a couple of years ago. I see no reason to think that is reliable just as their "gold star" garbage. The way I see it, if folks rely on WU to tell them their PWS is broke, find another hobby.

Offline Liamdog4

  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 26
Re: reporting inaccuracy?
« Reply #21 on: May 02, 2021, 10:55:17 PM »
I hear everyone on WU site problems. But there are other problems with other site or servers and information showing up on NOAA MADIS site. Currently all MESONET/ APRSWXNET stations in my area are showing "0" for relative humidity. And at times "descriptions" show everyone in a different state and area. And when I see that, it makes me think sometimes is my station reporting ok? Like other user say, be your own QC.

I have 2 sites within 25 miles of my location that have been reporting bad data for months. One station is reading 38 degrees for weeks. I sent a few emails to both stations just to say they might have a problem with their station. I never hear anything back. I do know when the local NWS/FAA station goes offline, my QC on Gladstone goes haywire for what that site is worth too.

I wish I had an answer for the reporting accuracy. You would think IBM who owns The Weather Channel maybe, I could be wrong, but the say on TV how accurate and reliable they are, that the WU site would be the same and not just get the money for hits on their site.

I know I read and researched when I bought my station to site it properly and maintain it properly to report the most accurate information I can. But I was a QC/QA person in a past job.

Maybe company's that sell weather stations or sites like WU could have a section on their web sites with instructions on siting a station and how to be a responsible owner when reporting to web sites.  I know CoCoRaHS does. Or directions to this site to ask for proper help in siting a station. Everyone could do a little would make a big impact.
Vantage Pro2 Plus Wireless, 24 hr Aspirated, Soil Moisture Station, Leaf Moisture, 2 Extra Temperature Stations

Offline danxx

  • Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 105
Re: reporting inaccuracy?
« Reply #22 on: May 02, 2021, 11:03:33 PM »
Thank you, Liamdog4. That pretty much encapsulates the whole issue. Stations produce garbage data, and we the users don't have any recourse. Not at all clear that WU listens to complaints about a station anymore, and I believe that it is no longer even possible to contact the station manager. (How did you try to contact them?) The design of the system is to actually prevent QA/QC from being done, or at least just leaving it up to the particular station manager. It would be nice if stations were able to remove data from bad sensors. Such that WU would report, for station XYZ, that temperature, for example, is "unavailable", rather than just posting garbage. Maybe just a zero in the relevant field would send that message.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2021, 11:06:41 PM by danxx »

Offline WSWeather

  • Forecaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 451
Re: reporting inaccuracy?
« Reply #23 on: May 03, 2021, 05:40:58 PM »
You would think IBM who owns The Weather Channel maybe, I could be wrong, but the say on TV how accurate and reliable they are, that the WU site would be the same and not just get the money for hits on their site.

The Weather Channel (the cable TV channel) is not owned by IBM and just licenses the name.  It was not part of the sale of The Weather Company which put WU in the sweaty hands of Big Blue.