There’s just one problem. They don’t show the correct weather. The show anythign within about an 80 mile radius, when around here 10 miles is the difference between being hit by a cold front and missing it entirely.
Is there any such weather software that doesn’t use the same data source?
Here in the States, many small airports have automated weather reporting that can be accessed by either phone or the web. Your location is noted as Suffolk, England - I’ll see if I can find a link for you.
Here we go - it’s a US site, but it does show UK weather by airport You’ll have to find the closest one to you.
This link has various aviation weather reports worldwide - you just need your four-letter identifier for the nearest airport generating these reports. This isn’t necessarialy a big airport, A downside is that it’s all in code, but once you learn it (and I didn’t find it that hard) you can get more detailed information than you usually get from the TV. If you live near several airports it can also provide an interesting look at variation in your area, or you could observe the changes as weather moves through.
If you get stuck let me know - I don’t have heaps o’ time to post this evening, but if you’re interested this sort of weather reporting. I’ll help you out with some of this.
I’ve tried Weatherbug, too, with the same results…Brookstick has inadvertently answered why the programs don’t give me good results. The nearest stations on those pages are Stansted, Lakenheath and Southend, each a long way away and in different directions. These are the ones that Weather Watcher gives - I’ve seen it jump back and forth between the latter two, when there was ten celsius difference. I just wish there was a program that used other more localised sources.
This link allows you to search for the codes for any airport in the world (scroll down past the advertising). I’m not famillar with which cities are located where in the United Kingdom, but perhaps you will find something close to you on this.
It won’t give you information for a region, so you’ll have to enter the names of the local town around you. Also, watch out for duplicate town names - for instance, there is a listing for Suffolk, Virginia, USA as well as Suffolk, England.
What makes you think there are more localised sources? Broomstick has the right idea about using airport weather stations, but if there is no airport near you (still in service), there might not be another station. Not every airport in the U.S. has a weather station, so you can’t always get the weather on your front lawn.
Some TV stations over here have set up small reporting stations at elementary schools, like science projects, but I don’t know if they’re counted as “official” NOAA reporting stations. Do they have that across the Pond?
The BBC weather site gives me different 5-day forecasts for two towns either side of me and 8 miles apart. They’re clearly using data other than a few airports (vast swathes of the country wouldn’t recieve any relevant forecasts if airports if all they went by). The data’s out there on the web, it’s a just a shame nobody’s incorporating it into these programs.
Well, sir, as I mentioned I’m not at all familar with your area. Here in the US, we have a LOT of very small airports all over the place - in my area alone there are TWO airports within 10 miles of my home, and four within 15 miles - and three of those four are reporting weather stations (to be fair the US also has areas where there are no stations for hundreds of miles in any direction, too). I have no idea if England has more or fewer airfields than my area.
Here in the US we also have weather reports from airplanes aloft, called “pireps” (for “pilot report”, I suppose), so it’s possible to get reports from between stations or from high altitude, although those reports do not occur on any regular sort of schedule. Again, I have no idea if the UK has anything similar
There are also regular reports available from government balloon launches, which do occur on a regular basis.
I’m sure there are other weather stations out there as well. But giving you locations of US stations won’t help you in your quest for English weather
Does the UK have any sort of national weather clearing house like NOAA in the US?
You’re kidding me - different forecasts for towns 8 miles apart? Sure, you can have rain here and not there at a particular moment., but two locations that close will have very similar weather. Unless maybe one is a hot spring and another is a glacier? Or you’re forcasting tornadoes… Being near a large body of water might make for some local effects on a small scale.
Anyhow, if you tell me “large swathes” of the countryside are bare of airports I’ll have to take your word on it.
Yep - the Met Office, who (among other things) supply the BBC’s data.
Yep, different for Woodbridge and Ipswich (I hope those URLs work.) And yes, given that I’m on the edge of a coastal area, a few miles can make a big difference in the weather - eg often (at this time of year, assuming we actually have summer weather) rain will sweep the whole of central southern England, but be held back by sea breezes.
OK, I was exaggerating…what I meant was that the airport weather station system that is used in the US, and therefore is used by WeatherWatcher and the like, is not applicable to the UK. I suspect we do have a lower density of airfields than much of the US - but it’s the density of weather reporting stations functioning with the systems these programs use that actually matters.
(BTW, I checked out the Weather Watcher forum, and the one thread pointing out the problems caused by the choice of data was basically met with a “that’s the way it was easiest to do” reply)