Author Topic: Spring, 2008 Featured Weather Website is RoanokeValleyWeather.com  (Read 22301 times)

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Offline saratogaWX

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Congratulations to Kevin Ray and the RoanokeValleyWeather.com Weather Station in Hollins, Virginia, for your selection as
WXForum.netís Featured Weather Web Site for Spring, 2008!   =D>  \:D/

Kevin's weather website went live on October 10, 2004.  His weather station was a "birthday present to himself" and he picked a Davis wireless Vantage Pro 1, with standard radiation shield, with no FARS or extra sensors.  He's added a wireless anemometer transmitter around October 2004 and a rain gauge heater during the 2005-2006 winter.  He used a manual 4" rain gauge to recalibrate the rainfall, as it was under-reporting by about 15%, but he says "the station has been extremely reliable.  Both the ISS and the anemometer transmitter are still using the original batteries.   :grin: "

He initially used VWS exclusively.  Like many others, he purchased Steve Hatchett's VirtualVP program and began running VWS in tandem with Weather Display, both of which he uses to update parts of his weather web site.  Recently, he has started running WeatherLink as well.  He uses VPLive to send his weather data to CWOP.

Kevin uses ImageSalsa for his two primary webcams, and MovieSalsa to create his weather time-lapse movies and movie archive.
With a Boltek Lightning Detector, he uses NexStorm and WASP2 to process and upload lightning data to the web site and StrikeStarUS. 
He uses Skymet and VWS to produce the local and regional mesomaps.  Kevin recently purchased GRLevel3, which he hopes
to use soon to replace or supplement the WeatherUnderground local radar maps on his website.

Kevin's main reason he started a web site was simply "because I thought it was cool to have my backyard station's data on the Internet where my extended family could look at it.  My father's employment with the DEA took him to Arlington, Virginia in 2004 and to Greenville, South Carolina in 2007, and having my station and webcams online gave him a way of keeping tabs on the weather 'back home'."

Kevin overhauled the main page on his website sometime around June 2006, shortly after Jozef Smolders and Tom Chaplin developed the AJAX code used on the carterlake.org web site.  He says, "I, ahem, borrowed the code and adapted it to fit my site".

Kevin hopes to add GRLevel3 radar to his site in the coming months.  His other plans include "my webcams currently point northwest and northeast, so I hope to add better sky coverage, and I hope to add critter cams to capture some of the deer, rabbits, birds, groundhogs, skunks, ducks, raccoons, squirrels, and deer we see regularly in our backyard.  In addition, I'd like to redevelop a smaller version of my site suitable for viewing on the increasingly-popular web-enabled cell phones.  I'd also like to develop a page describing my hardware setup, as well as other pages that might be of interest to local residents and tourists.    I may at some point in the future purchase WxSim and experiment with doing my own forecasts.  (Most of these things have been on my wish list for years. Sigh.)"

He shares his weather data with  CWOP (CW2195), Weather Underground (KVAROANO10), WeatherForYou, WeatherBug, and AWEKAS.  He says "I figure that if people want my data for some reason, why not let them have it?".

Kevin's interest in weather in general began "when I was about 7, as we experienced a heat wave and drought during the summer of 1977.  Shortly thereafter, I became interested in storms and soon developed a fear of them, as the area where I grew up seemed to be prone to sudden lightning strikes.  As a city letter carrier on a walking route, I rely heavily on my experiences with developing storms to judge when to take cover."

Kevin says, "I have a fair number of faithful visitors to my site.  I received an e-mail from one who is blind, thanking me for maintaining a list of active online weather radio streams, which he enjoys listening to.  The weather expert at The Roanoke Times, Kevin Myatt, wrote a story (http://www.roanoke.com/weather/wb/xp-124233) about my web site on July 14, 2007.  Winning the Spring 2008 wxforum.net featured site among several worthy candidates is very gratifying as well."

Kevin's succinct advice to someone wanting to get started in weather watching as a hobby is "Marry someone rich who likes the weather as much as you do."

His advice to someone wanting to either start a new weather web site or improve the one they already have is:
"Consider your target audience:  What are your visitors looking for when they visit your site, and can they find it?  Do your visitors have a way of contacting you?  For those looking to attract more traffic to their sites, consider adding a webcam or uploading your local NOAA weather radio feed. "

Kevin is 38 years old and has been married to Michelle since 1998.  He went to Ferrum College planning to be a high school math teacher, but changed his mind before graduating in 1996 with a B.S. degree in mathematical sciences and a minor in computer science.  He has worked for the U.S. Postal Service (where he met his wife) since 1996 as a data conversion operator, mail processor, distribution and window clerk, and, since December, as a city letter carrier in Roanoke, Virginia.  Kevin and Michelle have two cats but no children.  When Kevin is not doing something weather-related, he enjoys researching his family ancestry or watching sports on TV.
 
He thanks anchorageweather for nominating his site (three wins in a row for Eric!) and thanks to everyone taking the time to visit his site and voting in the poll.
 
Kevin says, "I've used Notepad to overhaul my home pages a couple of times and write several pages in PHP, with lots of help from carterlake's forecast script and my friend Google.  But my first weather pages used the stock VWS templates, since I knew NOTHING about HTML coding.  We all had to start somewhere!  One of my first coding projects was to create a weather movie archive (http://www.roanokevalleyweather.com/movietimelapse.php), where visitors could select a movie for any day of their choosing, and play it back."
 
"I grew up listening to my local NOAA weather radio (even taking it with me on camping trips), so I have found the differences in the various online weather radio feeds particularly interesting.  I also like to find an area that has severe weather and listen to that broadcast.  Before Weather Underground started the weather radio project two years ago, there were only about a dozen or so online feeds available.  At the time, the National Weather Service already had a list, but many of them no longer worked.  I wanted an up-to-date list of active streams, so I wrote some PHP code to create a current dynamic listing and a map showing where those stations are located."

Hardware used:
Boltek StormTracker PCI
StarDot NetCam MP in an all-weather enclosure
Sony Handycam DCR-HC21 (similar to this).
Experimental critter cam: Linksys WVC54GCA
 

Congratulations, Kevin and the RoanokeValleyWeather.com Weather Station, for being selected by your peers as WXForum.netís Featured Weather Web Site for Spring, 2008!

Congratulations also, to all our outstanding nominees -- your efforts have not gone unnoticed!
« Last Edit: August 21, 2008, 12:54:13 PM by saratogaWX »
Ken True/Saratoga, CA, USA main site: saratoga-weather.org
Davis VP1+ FARS, Boltek-PCI/NexStorm, microSferics ToA, Blitzortung RED, GRLevel3, WD, WL, VWS, Cumulus, Meteobridge/hub
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jwyman

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Re: Spring, 2008 Featured Weather Website is RoanokeValleyWeather.com
« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2008, 01:03:28 PM »
Congratulations Kevin!  =D> =D> =D>

Keep up the good work!

v/r,

Jim


Offline weathergirl

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Re: Spring, 2008 Featured Weather Website is RoanokeValleyWeather.com
« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2008, 03:02:05 PM »
Good for you, Kevin, well done :-)
Ann-Marie
Beamsville, Ontario, Canada

Offline WeatherBeacon

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Re: Spring, 2008 Featured Weather Website is RoanokeValleyWeather.com
« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2008, 03:33:47 PM »
Congratulations, Kevin! Nice work on your site! =D> UU =D>

Well done to the other nominees, too! =D>

Regards,

Kevin...
Mae govannen!
Kevin  (Member AMS) http://www.wxbeacon.com               Genesee County, Michigan
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Software: VWS 14.01p43, WeatherFlash, & GRLevel3

Offline kray1000

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Re: Spring, 2008 Featured Weather Website is RoanokeValleyWeather.com
« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2008, 07:00:26 PM »
Thank you folks very much!  :grin:

My congratulations also to the other nominees.  =D>

Kevin R.

Offline anchorageweather

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Re: Spring, 2008 Featured Weather Website is RoanokeValleyWeather.com
« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2008, 07:11:28 PM »
Congratulations Kevin!  Great site.

P.S.  I'm three for three in nominations.  ;)
South of the Tracks, Anchorage, KY

Offline Mark / Ohio

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Re: Spring, 2008 Featured Weather Website is RoanokeValleyWeather.com
« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2008, 08:34:14 PM »
Congratulations Kevin!   UU
Mark 
2002 Davis VP I Wireless, WeatherLink (Serial), GRLevel3, VirtualVP, StartWatch, Weather Display, Windows 10


Offline NiceBill

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Re: Spring, 2008 Featured Weather Website is RoanokeValleyWeather.com
« Reply #7 on: August 21, 2008, 10:03:55 PM »


Congrats Kevin, very nice site.

Bill.>>>>>>>>>>>
[note: Bill passed away December 31, 2008 -- Rest in Peace Bill, you'll be missed!]

jwyman

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Re: Spring, 2008 Featured Weather Website is RoanokeValleyWeather.com
« Reply #8 on: August 21, 2008, 10:05:27 PM »
Looks like you didn't get the check in the mail did you?    :shock: Oops, wasn't suppose to say that...

 :grin:
Congratulations Kevin!  Great site.

P.S.  I'm three for three in nominations.  ;)

Offline kray1000

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Re: Spring, 2008 Featured Weather Website is RoanokeValleyWeather.com
« Reply #9 on: August 21, 2008, 10:11:27 PM »
 :twisted:  Jim wasn't aware that I work for the post office.  :twisted:

 #-o

Offline GregJ

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Re: Spring, 2008 Featured Weather Website is RoanokeValleyWeather.com
« Reply #10 on: August 21, 2008, 10:12:25 PM »
Congratulations Kevin.... and contrary to the little gif you have running on your profile.... I think you have given a lot of "Damns" =D>.   Your contribution to the forums has been much appreciated.  I am still using your "Yesterday's Rain" javascript.

Thanks,
Greg

PS... I have to confess... I have stolen that gif and has used it extensively :-)
Davis VP2 with VWS

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Offline racenet

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Re: Spring, 2008 Featured Weather Website is RoanokeValleyWeather.com
« Reply #11 on: August 22, 2008, 07:45:21 AM »
Congratulations Kevin!  =D>



Bob
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Offline Anthony

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Re: Spring, 2008 Featured Weather Website is RoanokeValleyWeather.com
« Reply #12 on: August 22, 2008, 07:54:30 AM »
Congratulations Kevin.



Thanks,
Anthony
WB8YUE

Offline jwwd

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Re: Spring, 2008 Featured Weather Website is RoanokeValleyWeather.com
« Reply #13 on: August 22, 2008, 09:39:12 AM »
Hi Kevin

Congratulations - very impressive website.

Best regards,

Henrik

Davis Vantage Pro2 w/FARS & solarsensor. Boltek LD-250 Lightningdetector

Offline Mark / Ohio

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Re: Spring, 2008 Featured Weather Website is RoanokeValleyWeather.com
« Reply #14 on: August 22, 2008, 07:47:54 PM »
...
"I grew up listening to my local NOAA weather radio (even taking it with me on camping trips), so I have found the differences in the various online weather radio feeds particularly interesting. .....


 :grin:  Me too.  As a kid when we went on family vacations to my mother's dismay I would drag along our Channel Master VHF Hi/Lo band police radio to listen to the weather stations in the car and motel.  Between me listening to the police radio and dad fiddling with the CB listening to the truckers in the car, mom's nerves did not get much of a vacation.   :lol:
Mark 
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Offline kray1000

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Re: Spring, 2008 Featured Weather Website is RoanokeValleyWeather.com
« Reply #15 on: August 30, 2008, 08:06:02 PM »
Thanks again guys!  :-P

Ken (or anyone in the know):
How do I get one of those "wxforum.net featured site" graphics?

Offline saratogaWX

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Re: Spring, 2008 Featured Weather Website is RoanokeValleyWeather.com
« Reply #16 on: August 30, 2008, 08:30:28 PM »
The award graphic is crafted by Drew.. I'll send him a note about it.  Sorry for the delay!

Best regards,
Ken
Ken True/Saratoga, CA, USA main site: saratoga-weather.org
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Offline kray1000

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Re: Spring, 2008 Featured Weather Website is RoanokeValleyWeather.com
« Reply #17 on: August 30, 2008, 08:38:58 PM »
No worries, just curious!  8-)

Offline kray1000

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Re: Spring, 2008 Featured Weather Website is RoanokeValleyWeather.com
« Reply #18 on: November 22, 2008, 07:23:25 PM »
Is it summer yet?  #-o

 :grin:

Offline saratogaWX

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Re: Spring, 2008 Featured Weather Website is RoanokeValleyWeather.com
« Reply #19 on: November 22, 2008, 08:11:59 PM »
Thanks for the tickle... I've opened a nomination thread..
Sorry for the delay :(

Best regards,
Ken
Ken True/Saratoga, CA, USA main site: saratoga-weather.org
Davis VP1+ FARS, Boltek-PCI/NexStorm, microSferics ToA, Blitzortung RED, GRLevel3, WD, WL, VWS, Cumulus, Meteobridge/hub
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