Weather

Days Grow Shorter

The great push to get all timely side projects done before the Holidays begins. “The September and October surge” tasks I know I should start before the snow and ice sweep across the land.
Summer is over and suddenly, as if by total surprise, approaching seasonal imposed deadlines become priority. “Didn’t I just come off the Spring – Summer surge?” It’s the yearly temperature influenced push that some might misinterpret as productivity preparedness. If you plan on working within some level of comfort from the cold you should start thinking about things you can do before the weather changes. Pace yourself and avoid the last minute frenzy. Most likely there will be a few late nights where the wind will be howling and the cold will have to be kept at bay in order to focus on work. Maybe now is a good time to find my hoodies.

Of course this is a bit melodramatic, but it does make sense to get as much done before the holidays begin and frosty mornings become the norm.
This time of year has some positives; there will be less daylight to distract me from my tasks at hand and limit the temptation to step into the winter sun – if there is any this year.
Yes, the dreary weather and gloomy skies will be perfect for staring at the computer screen for hours and hours, but first any outdoor work that can be done before the approaching ice age will have to be squeezed in. Managing time to accommodate both in and outdoor work is sometimes a challenge.

Once I think I have everything perfect for working late into the night, I can settle and focus on writing, learning new computer skills, or testing out new Linux developments. Ill have the radio playing quietly in the background. Sometimes Ill just sit and read through a few technical manuals for hours.

Hot coffee from a thermos I bring out to my workshop is usually close at hand. It may not seem too exciting, but I enjoy working late into the night. There’s always something new to learn, or sometimes old skills I rediscover.

At least I won’t have to worry about the heat and humidity that limited the amount of time I worked in my shop this summer.

I’ve been following Hurricane Dorian developments. There’s not much if any impact due where I am, but as the tracking changes it does make me wonder how well we actually predict the weather. It does underscore the need to prepare for rough weather even when skies are clear. I don’t see any particular weather event in the near future, but I’m positive the cold is coming as it does every year.

Weather Data

Weather Data

Weather alerts, weather Alerts, notifications everywhere.

The iPhone notifications from multiple weather apps are handy, and when you hear the notification alerts from other people’s phones going off around you, you’re going to look at your screen. Something is going on, or soon will be.


In the old days, we listened to our radios for weather forecasts, often the local television station weather broadcast. Later on, the soothing sounds of the Weather Channel’s greatest hits played while our local forecast rolled across the screen in between weather people pointing to a green screen and looking off camera to create a less confusing presentation illusion. It all worked very nicely. Now we can view the weather in our computer browsers or on a phone app.
You can easily view the weather info for almost any place in the world. You can read predictions based on this info, and for short time sensitive duration while events closer to the present are fairly accurate.

With so many sources available most people will have a good set of options to choose their weather data.
There will always be a few users who would rather tap into alternative weather info feeds where you have more control of the data presentation. With Linux, I have found a few tools I really like to explore that are a little different from your standard smartphone weather app or browser-based options (often loaded with advertising).

Zygrib

ZyGrib a GRIB (Gridded General Regularly-distributed Information in Binary) file viewer is an interesting meteorological file viewer option.
Grib files are used for numerical weather prediction models such as those used by the US National Weather Service (part of NOAA)
I installed the LINUX (version 8.0.1) of ZyGrib from the Mint 19 software repositories, and then installed the Windows version – both are very similar. I haven’t tried the Mac version yet, but now I see that Opengribs.org will be continuing the development of ZyGrig – now XyGrib for all platforms.

I can see where interpreting your own weather data can be both challenging, yet very educational just by reading through all the output presented in the data file reader.

Grib

There is a nice selection of Grib orientated tools available, but some are subscription based, commercial, or older applications which may or may not have much support if any. It’s all worth a look if you’re more than casually interested in weather data.

There are also a few iPhone applications that allow you to view Grib data.

I purchased PocketGrib for the iPhone mostly out of curiosity after spending some time playing around with zyGrib on my LINUX machine. It’s pretty cool, it will certainly make following the weather as we head into the peak of Hurricane season more interesting from a data analysis angle. I still don’t think I’ll give up my weather radio just yet – I don’t need an Internet connection for that.

NOAA

Nationwide Station Listing Using Broadcast Frequencies

HTTP://www.nws.noaa.gov/nwr/coverage/station_listing.html
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