Author Topic: December, 2005 - Featured website  (Read 4346 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline saratogaWX

  • Administrator
  • Forecaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 9297
  • Saratoga, CA, USA Weather - free PHP scripts
December, 2005 - Featured website
« on: October 29, 2006, 01:26:42 AM »
Congratulations to Lewis Rudel, webmaster of Tawas Bay Weather in (surprise!) Tawas Bay, Michigan, for selection of his site as's Featured Weather Web Site of the Month for December, 2005.

Tawas Bay Weather went live in January, 2002. Lewis runs a Davis VantagePro wireless, with an additional wireless temperature station for recording the chilly water temperature on Tawas Bay. He also wisely heats his rain gauge to measure winter precipitation. Tawas Bay Weather is powered by Virtual Weather Station because Lewis likes the quality of VWS' charts and graphs when compared to those of the WeatherLink software that came with the station's datalogger. He also feels VWS is quite easy to use and flexible.

For developing his attractive and organized site, Lewis primarily uses Microsoft's FrontPage, with an occasional use of Coffee Cup's HTML editor. He also uses Jasc's (now owned by Corel, come to think
of it...) Paint Shop Pro and Animation Shop, and Coffee Cup's Firestarter for simple Flash animations.

Lewis launched his web site because he thought it might be useful for folks to be able to view local weather information. Tawas Bay is a small resort community, getting lots of visitors from southern Michigan
(and elsewhere) for weekend getaways, or to visit their own cottages. He realized that it'd be nice for them to be able to check the weather in Tawas Bay before leaving home, and I'm quite sure that it is!

Inspiration for Tawas Bay Weather has involved the free borrowing of ideas from other websites. Lewis often visits web sites listed here and on the VWS forum, and grabs ideas or formats that appeal to him.
Lewis will probably just continue to add things to his site that he thinks will be useful; this is a fun hobby for him.

Lewis sends data to WeatherUnderground and Weather For You. He hasn't looked into the Citizen Weather Observer Program yet (but I hope he does -!) He likes knowing that people will be seeing his data when they request weather information from those services.

Lewis first got interested in weather as a kid, like many of us. Living on Lake Huron and enjoying boating, it was pretty important to be able to determine what the weather was going to do before setting out on
boating trips a long way from home!

There are several things about this hobby and his site that Lewis finds rewarding. He enjoys getting email from people who tell him how much they enjoy his web site. He particularly appreciates hearing from Coastguardsmen at his local station who tell him that checking his site every morning before doing mission planning! And he got
a call from a meteorologist at a television station 75 miles away who told Lewis that he visited Lewis' site frequently in order to get data for the nightly weather reports. The met then asked Lewis to help him set up another station a little further inland to get comparative data.

Lewis' advice for the novice weather hobbyist is to get a quality weather station that can be connected to a computer. His advice for someone wanting to set up a good weather web site is, "Visit as many weather websites as possible and take note of the things you
like and don't like about the sites. Don't put so much information and
graphics on your entry page that it takes forever to load (there are still
people out here that are using phone modems). Put the basic information that most people might be interested in on the main page and provide links to the more in-depth information for those who want more detail." Good advice, Lewis!

Lewis is a 63 year old retired attorney at law who lives with his wife in Tawas Bay (population 2,500) on Lake Huron. Along with weather, Lewis enjoys hiking, fishing, hunting, shooting, websites, computers, and traveling in a motorhome.

Congratulations again, Lewis, on your well-deserved win, and congratulations to our other outstanding nominee, Capitola Weather!

Writeup by Gary Oldham, posted Tue Dec 06, 2005 6:11 pm on original
Ken True/Saratoga, CA, USA main site:
Davis VP1+ FARS, Blitzortung RED, GRLevel3, WD, WL, VWS, Cumulus, Meteobridge
Free weather PHP scripts/website templates - update notifications on Twitter saratogaWXPHP