Portal talk:Weather

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I think the Weather section of Wikinews is really interesting. What kinds of content will it have? Ideas:

  • Observation data from PD sources (NOAA in the US). For example "It's currently 89 degrees and cloudy." in Birmingham.
  • Observations contributed by wikinews volunteers (potentially fun, and useful)
I think observation data for a place should be in one page per geographic area. Archiving it or otherwise naming it according to time is irrelevant, as Mediawiki's own history function would provide snapshots of the observations throughout time. What do you folks think?
  • Forecasts from PD sources (NOAA in the US)
  • Forecasts from wikinews volunteers?
Would it be useful to have a bunch of armchair meteorologists guessing at predicting the weather in a wiki-way?

Samrolken 12:36, 1 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Increase in global temperature[edit]

I've asked user B-101 on his user talk page for a source for his contribution about the results of an increase in temperature.

Any scientific claim should have a citation to back it up.

DV 16:38, 15 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Another user has created an Environment section for stories such as this one.
I have moved B-101's announcement to the Environment major events section, as his assertion is a scientific announcement, not an event.
Hopefully B-101 will follow up in that section when he has a citation (hopefully an online reference) to back up his assertion.
DV 02:34, 16 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Dec 10 Updates[edit]

from Talk:Main Page


Hey, would anyone object to breaking the asian weahter section up a bit? Its just such a huge freaking place. I mean the weather in indonesia, is not in the least related to the Weather in Turkmenistan. The other question is how? Centeral, south, and south-east? The bellman 02:12, 1 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Well first, there isn't any weather news written for Asia, so no worries. But once there is, the newest top stories will appear on the main Asian page, and then each country will have its own pages. This is already starting to happen with Argentina, which has split off from the rest of South America. Their news still appears in South America, but is more abundant on their seperate page. -- user:zanimum
I think what he means is the weather section giving current weather conditions, and not stories. Breaking up would be fine, but you have to be careful with that- that arguement can be made for any area/continent. How about keeping the weather as it is on the main, but linking each section to the continent page, and then having more detailed weather on those? Lyellin 14:30, 1 Dec 2004 (UTC)

It seems silly to have two seperate maps for Fah. and Cel. since Fah. is only used in the US... why not just have seperate maps for each continent, and have the US one be in Fahrenheit?

Travelers from other countries will find it convenient to see U.S. temps in Celsius. How about a single map with two text links underneath it, one for Fahrenheit and one for Celsius? A single map maintains an international outlook. — DV 22:27, 10 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Progress on dynamic weather report[edit]

I'm almost ready to post a map of world surface conditions.

It's generated by an Adobe Illustrator CS document using data-driven graphics that are fed by an XML dataset.

Once the first version is ready, I will supply the source files by e-mail to anyone who wants them - they're about 40MB uncompressed, so I'm not sure if I should post such large files in the Commons.

I plan to provide two links underneath the map for temperatures - one for degrees Fahrenheit and the other for degrees Celsius.

I'm still working on scraping the temperatures automatically from the web, but editing the XML dataset is very fast. There are 55 cities, and they can be updated in under five minutes using the following links:

BBC Weather World

The Weather Channel

What makes this map interesting is that it simultaneously presents temperatures of 55 of the world's major cities.

I am still working on adding symbols for Sunny, Cloudy, Raining, and Snowing. — DV 05:25, 5 Dec 2004 (UTC)

make sure you cover all populated areas List of metropolitan areas by population, Thirty most populous cities in the world, adding Novosibirsk and Vladivostok wouldn't hurt either.
Wow, I'm definitely impressed. I would like the source files to mess with, if you have time to upload them for me. I might even be able to give you an FTP account on my server for others to use - 40MB files will barely make a dent in my transfer statistics. lankiveil at gmail dot com. Lankiveil 05:28, 6 Dec 2004 (UTC)
OK, the XML dataset coding is done. Now I just have to check all the links between the dataset and the graphics variables and the first version of the map will be ready to post - most likely tomorrow around noon (Pacific Time). By the way, I tried uploading the XML dataset and I received an error that XML was not a recommended image file format, and the "Upload media" page refused to upload the file! How do we share XML files on the Commons? I suppose it won't let me post the Illustrator or Photoshop files either?
I could continue to offer to e-mail the source files to anyone who wants them, or host the source files on a private web site, and just post the generated JPEG files on Commons. But as a long term solution, we need a shared repository for the source files that will outlive my ability to e-mail them to folks or privately host the files.
Lankiveil, I'll attempt to e-mail you the fully-detailed source files, but I seem to recall a 10MB limit on e-mail attachments for my e-mail account, and I'm not sure how to segment a large file into multiple attachments. Going forward, I think I can lower the resolution on the source files to post a more reasonably-sized version on Commons, I just haven't futzed with that yet.
To the anonymous poster asking for Novosibirsk and Vladivostok, you lucked out - The Weather Channel web site has entries in their database for those two cities. After the first version of the map is ready, I'll look into adding those cities. I'm currently at the mercy of The Weather Channel and the BBC for weather data, and I would prefer to work with cities that are on The Weather Channel, because I can't scrape temperatures off of the BBC web site. (I don't want to spend the rest of my life entering temps from BBC web pages by hand.) — DV 07:09, 6 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Brilliant! It's WikiWeather!
More seriously now, I like the idea. With this we can really be a good news source. Cap'n Refsmmat 00:43, 7 Dec 2004 (UTC)
First some good news - it turns out we won't have to depend upon commercial sites to feed the data for cities in the U.S. - the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) now has an XML feed available for anyone to use in their weather reports. I get the impression from looking at various weather sites that there is probably a service for international temps as well, but if anyone knows more about this, please let me know.
A small bit of bad news - I wasn't able to build the first version of a working map today. It turns out there is a bug in Adobe Illustrator CS that prevents more than one text object from referring to the same variable when the XML is re-imported. For each temperature dot, I have a white text object, and a black text object (one of which is made visible depending on the background color of the dot). When I tried to import the XML data back into the document, it generated a filter error. So I'm now going through and redoing each text object pair to have two pairs of variables - one pair for black or white visibility, and the other pair for the black and white text content. This time I carefully tested with a few cities to make sure there weren't any other bugs, so I'm back on track and should have a map ready to post by tomorrow morning.
Lankiveil, I downloaded a compressed version of the map topo underlay, which brought the entire package under 10MB for easy e-mailing, so I will send all of the source files to you first thing after I post. — DV 08:06, 7 Dec 2004 (UTC)
I posted the first version of the world surface condition maps in the weather section. Lankiveil, I e-mailed you the source files to your gmail account. There are Celsius and Fahrenheit datasets in the XML file.
(If anyone else wants the source files, or can provide a repository to hold them, please let me know.) — DV 09:50, 10 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Just to note something, Almaty has no temperatures. And for weather symbols dont forget thunderstorms, partly cloudy, fog, hail, etc... I would also reccomend less US cities (it's a little cluttered) and more communities in extreme places like Antarctica, Siberia, and northern Canada. Just my two cents. Nice work though :-D Earl Andrew 18:37, 10 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Strangely enough, the BBC doesn't have temps for Almaty either. And neither does http://www.weather.com. Do you have a source for Almaty temp data?
I'm working on the sunny/cloudy/rainy symbols, that will be in the next version.
The problem with temps in extreme places is getting the reports online in a timely manner. If you have knowledge of where to get online feeds for extreme locations, please point me to some URLs. Thanks. — DV 22:35, 10 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Here's a tip for Almaty, try Alma-Ata which it is also known by. I like to use http://www.wunderground.com/ personally. Here is its link to Almaty: http://www.wunderground.com/global/stations/36870.html as well as some remote communities:





New Zealand:


Antarctica: (let's see if you want to add it first!)

Earl Andrew 19:01, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Good Idea!

Old talk[edit]

from Talk:Main Page

It seems unnecessary for a wiki to be used to update current weather conditions -- there are plenty of accurate weather info feeds available. I suggest that the Weather section stick to actual news about weather (i.e. articles on aftermath of hurricanes, etc.). -- Anonymous

Show me a source for weather that is not saturated with advertising, or one that presents a truly international overview of the weather without forcing you to click through pages of advertising on way. I'm trying to bypass all of that by showing a summary of world surface conditions in one, centralized image.
I'll post another update once the results of my work in this area are closer to completion. — DV 20:24, 5 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Well, the NWS's site does the "not saturated with advertising", but doesn't do a good job of "truly international". -- 03:42, 9 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Anyone object to just getting rid of weather altogether? Unless of course, Wikimedia is planning to invest in radar equipment. Lyellin 05:13, 23 Nov 2004 (UTC)

No need for radar equipment - I just checked out The Weather Channel, and put together a report on current surface conditions for the continental United States in under a minute. If there is interest, I also receive the BBC and China Central Television on my cable TV, so I could expand the weather section to cover Europe and Asia too by programming my Tivo to receive those reports. --DV 18:47, 25 Nov 2004 (UTC)
The Weather section in its temporary text form is now too bulky for the main page, but I am working on making it small enough to sit on the main page while still conveying much the same information. Temporarily, I've added standard sections using text, for each major region of the world. Each section has a summary, along with surface temperatures for its major cities.
I will work on creating a GFDL world map, so I can graphically communicate the same information in a much smaller format. This will entail having a template image of the underlying regions, along with template icons for sunny, partly cloudly, light showers, raining, and snow, which can be quickly clicked into place by the weather reporter. My goal is to get construction of the weather report down to a five-minutes-or-less task. --DV 12:02, 27 Nov 2004 (UTC)
I'm against allocating a large space on the main page for weather. I don't think many people want to see how the weather is in every single country everyday. I think a small link or small box of some type that leads to large separate weather page would be suitable. --CrazyJoe 04:22, 29 Nov 2004 (UTC)
As a compromise, how about a compact map graphic that can fit in a thumbnail square, no more than one column wide? I would have no problem with putting any additional text in a page that is referenced by a single line text link, as a caption under the upcoming map graphic.--DV 07:08, 29 Nov 2004 (UTC)

This is freaking cool[edit]

Many thanks to the people/person who brought us this, because it is freaking awesome. Just a question; some of the choices fo cities are a bit odd (eg recife in brasil, but not salvador and manuas), how were the cities chosen, how difficult is it to add new ones, and at what point does adding more cities make it look too crowded? thoughts? The bellman 13:18, 20 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Ditto that. This is a really good service that both international and non-commercial. I certainly think that weather forecasts should be based on population size more than political significance. Eventually it would be nice to get a greater variety of city forecasts and maybe even a fly-by video forecast showing the clouds and rain falling and the sun rising and setting like all the television channels in New Zealand have - but maybe I'm just dreaming. ;) Anyways, great work.Icurite 22:42, 9 Apr 2005 (UTC)

How do I add my weather?[edit]

No city even close to mine is shone on the weather map, how can I add it?

Where'd London go?[edit]

I notice that London no-longer has a temperature. This means that the map is useless for resisdents of Great Britain and Ireland, as being islands, our weather is significantly different to the continent's. Dan100 (Talk) 21:16, 2 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Ditto that, we need at least London, as this is an English-language site, and many contributors are from the UK. With notoriously variable condition compared to Western Europe, a temp reading would be appreciated. Can it be done? -- 19:39, 5 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Did you see the new map for the Europe region? For the UK, in addition to London, I also added Aberdeen.
If you want to work with WeatherChecker to try and figure out how to fit more cities on the World map while avoiding overlap, you are welcome to do so. Please let me know if you are motivated to do so, and I will be happy to answer any questions you may have about the installation and operation of the WeatherChecker software.
However, the larger selection of cities offered in the regional maps should make the issue of fitting more cities on the world map a moot point.
Thanks for your interest in the weather report. I appreciate the feedback.
DV 01:15, 6 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Great! Just like to say I think it's a good idea, and well done for making it look so professional... -- 21:30, 7 Feb 2005 (UTC)

UTC for Europe?[edit]

Why UTC time for all continent maps? Means nothing for me - what does it mean? Perhaps GMT or +/- an hour or so would be more appropriate for Europe, and other relevant timezones for the submaps. Either that or a select number of timezones on all maps. Or even, is there a need for the time to be shown, especially if the weather is to be 'current'? Everyone with a PC has a clock somewhere on their destop (presumably). Cheers, -- 22:24, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)

UTC is the same as GMT, isn't it? Is there some subtle difference between the two?
It's important to show the time so viewers will know when the temperature readings were posted. However I appreciate that UTC may be obscure, so I've thought of adding a strip along the bottom edge of the map which shows the time for each time zone.
As for the overall timeliness of the report - automated updates are in development, which will provide reports at the top of the hour. — DV 08:09, 18 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Apologies, UTC is in fact GMT! The shame... It's just that when I look at the weather map, the time usually makes no sense though as you say, it may just because updates are currently manual and bound to be out of date. I still hold to the point that a range of time conversions might be more democratic. Cheers, 21:47, 26 Feb 2005 (UTC)
While in general the two are interchangeable, it's actually somewhat fascinating that the two are not the same: read Wikipedia's Greenwich_Mean_Time and UTC articles. -- IlyaHaykinson 21:57, 26 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Weather map suggestion[edit]

It would be very awesome if the weather map reflected which parts of the day were light and day at the time when it was last refreshed. Like one of those geochronometer] doo-hickeys, just have it do a transparency overlay (I have no idea what that would entail or if it would be at all possible). Just a thought, but it looks pretty awesome as is, though! --Fastfission 07:33, 18 Feb 2005 (UTC)

A daytime/nighttime overlay is a good feature request - I've thought about compositing a subtle, translucent shading and tinting to show the progress of the sun, but I've been too busy working on support for regions and phenomena (sunny, cloudy, rainy) to get around to it. However, GDI+ makes this feature simple enough to implement that I will throw it in now that it's been requested. — DV 08:09, 18 Feb 2005 (UTC)
If you gave me a link to the original background map you use, I'd be happy to try and format one of those "world from space at night" pictures to match it exactly. Not sure if you could use that for something like this (transparent layers?), but it wouldn't be any trouble for me to put it together as a possible resource. --Fastfission 01:19, 19 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Here's a link to a medium-resolution proxy of the master underlay image. If you want the full-resolution version, I'll have to burn a DVD and mail it to you.
I have a medium-resolution night image from NASA that uses the same projection as the underlay used for the map, but I'm open to using another image if you can conform it to use the same projection.
To implement the day/night feature, my plan is to calculate the longitudes of the leading and trailing edges for where day and night falls for the current time displayed on the map. I just need to find a formula that takes the date into account, as sunrise and sunset varies by the time of year. It would also be a nice touch to calculate the width of the gradient between day and night at those boundaries, in latitude degrees. If you have any pointers to formulas for those calculations, please let me know.
Also, please continue to post any other feature suggestion ideas you might have - it's very helpful to have feedback on how to improve WeatherChecker.
DV 05:45, 19 Feb 2005 (UTC)


Are there any plans for an East Asian or South Asian weather map? -- Ran 05:37, 10 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Hi Ran,
The Asian weather maps are up next!
I just added the new Middle Eastern report a day ago.
DV 05:52, 10 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Could you Wikinewsies create a weather map for the whole Asia? That would be better. R
Asia is a huge place. I am not sure if it is possible.(I choose to remain anonymous.)
R and, A practical issue with a map of the whole of Asia is that the zoom level wouldn't be all that different from the World map, so it wouldn't have room to show any more cities without them overlapping on top of one another.
For this reason, the current plan is to have maps for West Asia, East Asia, and Southeast Asia. — DV 22:59, 20 Mar 2005 (UTC)
How about a South Asian map for example, India?(I choose to remain anonymous.Again.)
I double-checked and found that there are many weather stations reporting from that region. In theory, there are enough stations in the area that we could have a map for Indochina as well.
However, finding reliable stations might be another matter. I will test a selection of stations from the region to see if there are enough reliable stations to sustain a regular map.
Thanks for following up. — DV 01:26, 21 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Saw the Southeast Asia map(I choose to remain anonymous.Yet again.)

Highly-personal request...[edit]

<chuckle> In about 8 weeks, wanna start doing an in-depth image of the weather reports from Cape Scott to Trial Island? I'm sure you can pull up each of the weather buoys through the meteo, so I can know what the wind and temps are at each anchorage and harbour on my trip (where I can get internet), right? Since many of these also to sea state, could we add a color-coding for waves? maybe color gradient from blue to red in .5m increments?

(in case I was not obvious enough, this is a joke) And THANK YOU!!! for all your (and Ilya's) work in getting and maintaining this very complex weather reporting system! Love the bots... - Amgine 06:01, 10 Mar 2005 (UTC)

If the Wikimedia servers were reliable enough to leave WeatherBot running 24 hours a day, I could take off to sail on a boat too!
Perhaps after the next hardware upgrade I will see you on the high seas.
Kudos to Ilya for pulling off the bots - I'm mostly into the mapping and image generation side of the implementation.
I'm currently studying the General Cartographic Transformation Package Interface (GCTP), to allow the various regions to have different projections that reduce distortion.
I'm also fairly far along on adding the day/night overlay using the NASA "world at night" image, which shows the lights around the population centers.
There are plenty more features coming up for WeatherChecker, so stay tuned.
DV 08:39, 10 Mar 2005 (UTC)

temperature legend scale intervals[edit]

Dear weather graphic designer(s). Looks excellent. One recommendation though -- temperature scale interval / coloured graphics at 15oC or 20oC intervals. (<-- comment from anon IP?)

Someone else left a message that the Celsius legend should be divided into 10 degree intervals.
We at least seem to be reaching a consensus that the Celsius scale should fall on more regular intervals than the ones that are used right now.
15c or 20c intervals seem too far apart - would 10 degree intervals be OK? A smaller interval provides a more detailed gradient of colors from cold to hot. — DV 21:59, 2 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I was thinking the standard temperature colours... eg

Sample temperature sybols.PNG
  • -31°C <= - white
  • -30 - -21°C - purple
  • -20 - -11°C - light blue
  • -10-0 °C - blue
  • 1-10°C - light green
  • 11-20°C - yellow
  • 21-30°C - orange
  • 31-40°C - red
  • 41 °C => - black

159753 11:14, 8 Jun 2005 (UTC)

WeatherBot might be blocked[edit]

Commons:User:WeatherBot is in danger of being blocked. See Commons:Village pump#WeatherBot : NOT the right way. I thought some Wikinews people might want to participate in that discussion. Dbenbenn 14:37, 12 July 2005 (UTC)

Sparse Canadian Coverage[edit]

Would it at all be possible to have the actual major cities in Canada represented? Currently there are only three shown and the national capital is missing. I would be more than happy to provide you with theirn names and approximate locations (by way of editing the .ai file)., I am afraid such an addition could lead to cities overlapping each other.-- 14:51, 18 July 2005 (UTC) Oh! Before I forget,You can check The North Amreican Map.

I have seen the North American map but it features places such as Prince Rupert, Thunder Bay and Moosonee - all of which are quite small, low-population centers. I am pretty sure most provincial capitals could be placed without much overlap save for Victoria and Seattle. In any case would I be able to get the .ai files to at least give it a shot? Thanks for all your work on this project, by the way!

Weathermap seems to take a wikibreak[edit]

The latest map is dated on Septempber 19. Any trouble happened?--Aphaia 07:20, 21 September 2005 (UTC)

Weather maps[edit]

I added the weather maps. Does anyone else think this is a good idea? --SVTCobra 21:12, 5 June 2007 (UTC)

Yes, but I would recommend adding this portal, and the pictures, to the main page so people can see it. FellowWikiNewsie 21:20, 5 June 2007 (UTC)
OK, I did that. Added the portal up in the Welcome to Wikinews box, there was room there anyway. But I didn't want to be so bold as to add pictures to the main page. --SVTCobra 21:34, 5 June 2007 (UTC)
The weather portal is not very noticable. It's on the far-right. I will move it to the bottom where all the portals are. FellowWikiNewsie 21:37, 5 June 2007 (UTC)

Can the map display temperatures below freezing?[edit]

Noticed that the lowest temperature seen on the maps is 0C/32F (freezing point), especially on the far north locations. Is there a bug in displaying sub-freezing temperatures? DL+1613 02:05, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

How does weatherbot know the temprature?[edit]

And why can't he tell you the current weather, humidity, or wind--Ipatrol (talk) 19:03, 8 November 2008 (UTC)

The current weather system is Weatherbot which is an automated computer program run by user:Adambro [and partially developed by Skenmy, i think] (before the current system we used User:IlyaHaykinson weather checker program). What the bot does is it downloads weather station information from either tgftp.nws.noaa.gov example or www.weather.aero example. It then reads these files, extracts the temperature, and edits the appropriate Wikinews page. It only does temperature, as that is all its programmed to do. It would not be very difficult to incorporate other information (as our source provides it) but we don't really have a good way of displaying such information at the moment. You may also be interested in http://toolserver.org/~skenmy/wnweather/ http://toolserver.org/~adambro/ http://toolserver.org/~skenmy/wnweather/index.php?misc=viewsource and Wikinews:WeatherChecker. Bawolff 01:16, 9 November 2008 (UTC)

Back to Forecasting[edit]

It appears to me that the weather page is predominantly current observations (is it updated hourly?) from chosen sites around the world. I seem to recall, back before I got my account, that there was some cross-talk of putting up actual forecasts, but I didn't see that go anywhere. What was the final call on that, if anything? --CyberStormAlpha (talk) 09:29, 12 October 2009 (UTC)

Not sure where/if this was discussed; apparently not here because there has not seemed to be any archiving on this page yet. Seems we could make some use of Commons icons for weather conditions to display weather information in formats such as these:
DL+1613 (talk) 17:43, 12 October 2009 (UTC)
Nice graphics!
It's pretty easy to get free METSAT data, and that's not hard to forecast off of if you live in the area and have a fair understanding of what the picture means. The trick, though, is to find someone willing to put their name out there like that. I would, but it's a bit too big a prospect for one person. --CyberStormAlpha (talk) 12:37, 15 October 2009 (UTC)

Real Weather Center[edit]

ie Anyone thought a real weather center and using weather.gov weather & NOAA etc. for cities for the world. iMap Weather has a free affiliate program... Any thoughts?