Category Archives: Uncategorized

It’s started!

Well as you may have noticed, the look of the site has changed a bit. Rather then my own pictures at the top, it’s now a rather groovy image. My pics will go on their own page eventually, and the page is now full width (as opposed to 2/3). I’ve also moved the bits on the side from left to right for ease.

The new webcam is up and running though not currently accessible to the internet on the site. That will follow hopefully this week.

Shortly this blog will also disappear, onto it’s own header and you will land on the “new” front page with images from the camera and live weather amongst others on it.

Stay Tuned!
Woody

Site Update.

Well it’s been a while since the site has been updated, mainly due to a rather hectic and not so good 2013.  With the turn of the new year which hopefully will be quieter and kinder to us, I want to start paying attention to the site more and making some improvements. The only fly in the ointment is we are hoping to move house this year, sigh,lol.

I have just taken delivery of an HD Megapixel outdoor webcam. This will show a live view over the roof tops of Milford Haven, looking South towards Pembroke and the Velero refinery. Hopefully this will give a good indication of current weather – and incoming weather.  It will take a couple of weeks to get it up and running – I want to play with some software first, never mind  physically hardwiring them into the network – but hopefully the wait will be worth it.  There should also, if all goes well, be a time lapse video of each days weather

Also in the pipeline are the new “Steel Series” gauges for the live weather page running Weather Display Live. This should enable them to be viewed much more easily on mobile devices.  They are tricky to set up, so will do that gradually.

I’m also looking at some form of weather forecast on the front page as well. The problems are two fold  1) actually incorporating it in, and 2) finding one that will work on this site and is as reliable as possible – and believe me some aren’t!

I did experiment with a live weather warning feed, however this proved to be very unreliable and has been removed from the site for now. It will be revisited a bit later on once some of the other changes have taken place.

Keep popping back and see the changes over the next few months!

Woody

 

Why can’t we forecast snow accurately?

 To understand this, lets look at a simple bit of science and weather.

Snow forms at certain times of year when water vapor (millions and millions of teeny water drops), is lifted into the sky to areas of sub-freezing temperatures.   The vapor firstly condenses, and then freezes.  Importantly, the frozen water droplets have to freeze slowly to make very unique crystallized shapes i.e snow flakes.

But this can only happen at cloud level, and not on the way down to the surface or at the surface. If the unfrozen water droplets freeze too fast, and drop quickly you get hail or sleet! You also need the high level air to be thin (like on top of a mountain).

So, you need 4 things for snow to form

1) Thin air 2) Sub-freezing temperatures at cloud level. 3) An abundance of water vapor. 4) A mechanism of “transfer and lift”.  Transfer and lift is cold air hitting warm air and, the warm air being forced on top of the cold into a wedge shape.  If parts of Wales cannot provide any one of these, snow will not form. That’s the end of our little science lesson.

So how does that fit it in with forecasting?

Have you ever noticed that if you make a Chilli con-carne, yours always tastes different to someone else’s? Same basic ingredients, yet different taste. It’s because your chilli powder may be just a tad different to theirs, they may also cook it longer and at a hotter temperature than you. Just a pinch too much chilli and it doesn’t taste right.

This is rather like snow, the ingredients have to be EXACTLY right to create snow – and yes you do get dry snow and wet snow and small flakes or large flakes, depending on the exact mix. This makes forecasting snow quite hard.

But here in the UK, especially on the west coast it gets harder to predict where the snow will fall or even if it will. The problem is, we are an island surrounded by rather warm water – especially so on the west coast which carries the warm Gulf Stream.

To the East of Britain we have a massive land block, to the south we have Europe, and to the West we have Ireland. These coupled with warm water on the west, colder on the east, and even colder to the north, means that all the air really gets mixed up as it hit Britain – and depending on which is the stronger force at any one time, determines who wins. 100 miles either way makes a LOT of difference to the mix (remember our Chilli?).

Phew, so after all that you still have to consider the actual temperature of the land onto which it is falling and the air just above it, (how dry or wet it is will also determine if it lays) because that could also make the difference between snow and sleet.

Here on the West Coast so close to the warm sea at low land height, it becomes rarer to get snow and SO much harder to predict it. This is why you often get contradicting forecasts and last minute warnings, or no snow at all.  On top of all that, there are three main weather computer’s we watch, and often they are at odds with each other due to the complexity of the detail.

If you want to accurately forecast snow there is one assured way to get it right.                   It’s called Lamp Post Watching. Yep you got it. Open your curtains at night, look at the nearest street light and away you go! Thats what all us weather geeks do!

 Hopefully you will now have some understanding of why accurately forecasting snow is so hard.   

Woody

New Year, New Features

This page will gradually be changing and moved to a real “blog” page later.  In the meantime The more observant of you will have noticed there are now new feeds to the left of this post.

The top one is YoWindow. A brilliant graphical, accurate and realtime representation of current weather conditions here in Milford Haven, that if you click on it will also give you a good forecast for the next few days.  The current details are taken from a “METAR” feed at Pembrey Sands, however that will shortly be taken direct from our own personal weather station.

We then have a 5 minute radar showing rainfall across the UK courtesy of Meteox.  Click on that to get a larger size.

A new box showing the tide times for Milford Haven, which again if you click on it will take you to the next few days predictions.

And finally a new RSS feed direct from Netweather showing any weather alerts that have been issued for the UK.

Theres more to come, but having spent some 9 hours on it today I think thats enough.
Oh almost forgot, the “Dogs Welcome” and “About Woody” pages have been updated and will continue to grow now over the next couple of weeks.

Lets hope 2013 is a good year for us all and may God grant you a healthy happy year!

Woody

Good intentions but… 6 white boomers?????

Well, Crimbo is almost here now, with just a few days left for ‘Er indoors to convince me we NEED yet another pack of mince pies or peanuts to feed the hoards that won’t visit us this year.  As the rain hammers vertically down (actually its hailstones now as I write) and the promise of a white Christmas (hailstones excepted) gets even further away, I found a fascinating post about Christmas Carols in Aussieland, with this link that plays some Aussie carols,  http://www.australiantimes.co.uk/entertainment/top-five-aussie-christmas-carols-poll.htm  you’ve got to click on it! and watch the vids, Rolf Harris 6 white boomers is something else!

Waaaayyyy back in October I posted about updating the site. I haven’t yet done so, but it is in hand, I’m just waiting for a lovely chap called Mark Crossley to finish off trialling his beta version of the steel gauges series 2  running Weather display and I will upload them.  However, I have just a found a superb app that is available for Android users simply called “Weather Station” by Drago, that takes reading from personal stations like mine,via WeatherUnderground; and creates a superb display from your data, and other stations in your vacinity. If you want to know what the actual weather is, and readings are here is the link (one off fee of £1.95 to purchase)  https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.arf.weatherstation&feature=top-paid#?t=W251bGwsMSwyLDIwNiwiY29tLmFyZi53ZWF0aGVyc3RhdGlvbiJd

I’ve been ill over the past week, with some kind of very nasty stomach bug that has left me in considerable pain, discomfort and extremely washed out, and must thank ‘Er Indoors for looking after me, so well.  But when you see the horrendous shooting that has just taken place in America, it makes you realise how precious life is, how mortal we all are, and how little discomfort I must be in compared to those poor heartbroken families.  As someone who lives in a small community, that was deeply affected by a blast in a local oil refinary which killed 5 local people last year, my heart goes out to the Newtown residents.  May God grant each and every one of them peace at this time.

Woody

Ice-cream sandwich anyone? jellybean? and yet summer has gone!

Quick update to below, have now got a Samsung Tab 2 10.1 (Free with new mobile contract). Have been playing about with the steel series gauges, and it looks like thats the way I’ll go.

Well, what a summer that wasn’t!

Here in West Wales it’s been rain, drizzle, more rain and more drizzle, sigh.  And as I write this we’ve clocked over another 25mm of rain today.  The days are getting shorter and the evenings colder, a sure sign of Autumn.  And yet despite this I have spent days reading about Honeycombs, Ice-cream sandwiches and Jelly beans and how I’m not going to be able to Flash anymore!

So what’s this all about and how does it effect you and this site?   Being tight, when my mobile phone contract comes up for renewal, I try to get a free gift with my phone.  This year I fancied a “tablet” (wifey says I need to be taking tablets with my weather hobby!), that way I can lay in bed watching the weather display and conditions without having a laptop on my lap (NO Dearest looking out the window is not the same). Not being an Apple (I-pad) lover, I looked towards the alternative offerings running on Android software.  This comes in many “flavours” with each new release being given a new foodie based name, the latest being Jelly Bean.

Now one thing I discovered is that Adobe have recently dropped for support for “flash” which brings the weather details to you on this site.  This means that Ipads can’t download the weather, nor can the recent new android tablet models running Jelly bean,or many mobile phones and, as we go forward it will become more and more of an issue.

So, having just spent hours getting this site up and running, I’m going to have to make some fairly major changes to the weather section in the very near future.  Happily, I have disovered some very fancy “steel gauges” that work “cross platform” and hope to incorperate them into the site shortly.  After which I shall need more then ruddy Jelly bean – more like G&T!

As for the tablet?  Umm after studying for hours and not getting anywhere, perhaps I’ll just stick with an asprin until I make up my mind! 🙁

I’ll keep you updated shortly!

Woody

 

Nearly There -Weatherwise

Well, another month passes by and so much has happened – not including the Olympics.

Things have had to take a back seat for a while, but we’re back on track now.  The Software has been paid for so the message “Evaluation Version” has now disappeared and everything is running smoothly. I must just mention “Niko” from the Weather Watch Forum, who has very kindly sorted out a tab labelling error, that had really bugged me. Cheers Niko.  (Yet another example of how helpful and friendly us weather geeks are,lol).  Once I have sorted out a minor issue with my ISP I will increase the update rate to every 10 seconds, instead of the current 15. Remember we are the ONLY real time weather station in Milford Haven; thats us!

Other than that, it’s been quiet, well, I did get married, a couple of weeks ago and had the most amazing day (thanks to Cleddau Community Church, Priskilly Golf Couse and the fantastic “Preseli Pete and the Bluestone Boys” band, but thats only something minor ;-).

Still lots to do on the rest of the site, but that’ll come in time.

Have a great day!

Woody

Realtime live weather!!!

Well almost, lol. But with the new tab marked “Milford Haven Weather” you can now click on a live weather feed that is updated every 15 seconds. This will change shortly to about every 10 seconds once I have finished tweaking. You will also notice that is currently says “Evaluation version”. Again once a few adjustments are made then this will disapear, giving a lovely upto date display of weather conditions in Milford Haven. The ONLY local station to do so!
I must just say thanks to Bob, at JAX Weather in the States, for his help in setting this all up. Great example of sad minded weather geeks working together across the continents, haha!

Right, lunchbreak finished, off to bash the keyboard a bit more for work now.

Woody

Still here, but not there yet!

Well it’s been a while hasn’t it?   “Time waits for no man” so they say, and it’s true.  With our wedding just 4 weeks away now, things have been a bit hetic lately and to ‘Er indoors weather stations aren’t that important. (strange things women aren’t they, I keep explaining the importance of it but it just goes over her head, sigh).

Then just as I start to get on track again, the main weather station PC I run crashed. No big deal. Whoops wrong thing to say.  The power supply blew up, which proceeded to kill the main harddisc and DVD drive. That, coupled with me discovering my windows disc was faulty, led to more than just a few choice words in this Pembrokeshire household.

That dear visitor is why the weather was offline for a few weeks and no more has been done to it.  Hopefully I shall get time now to get a bit more done on the site.  So the crashed PC, the car terminally dying, and today the shower went up in smoke as ‘Er was using it (wait until AFTER we’re married dear, the Life Insurance pays out then!) means it has been a hectic time.

So, we are still here, but still got a long way to go yet with the site.

Till the next time, take care.

Woody

Slowly, very slowly!

Well, it was my birthday yesterday, and thanks to ‘Er Indoors I had a lovely evening after work.  However for the most part I spent it trying to get various functions of the this site to start working.  After several failed attemps and going to bed fed up with computers, I have today finally managed to make what is actually a major change to this site, even though on the face of it it is a minor one.

The Live Weather tab at the top now links directly and correctly to the feed from our very own weather station. What a palava that has been to achieve something so simple. But we’re there!  So I still have to update the rather old format and style of the weather page, but at least it now works. Happy Birthday Woody!