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FLO

Clear Outside Weather Forecasts for Astronomers

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Many thanks to Frugal for pointing out the issue with some mobile devices with very high resolution screens that were capable of showing the full version, but were instead getting the cut down version - there is now a button at the bottom of the page to 'View in Desktop Mode' which will let you see the full site rather than the limited mobile version.

Cheers,

Grant

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What a fantastic surprise; thank you!!

Everything you can think of is included...even the astro-darkness element. Now I know it forecasts several days ahead, which is brilliant but I wondered whether future dates could be included; not necessarily for weather forecasts as it is impossible to forecast accurately in the future, but for those future dates to include data such as astro-darkness and moon phases.

it would be fabulous to have that data to hand to predict when astro darkness returns for personalised localities. Also handy for planning future astronomy outreach events!

I have just uninstalled Astro Panel because it had stopped working. This would be a much better alternative if Clear Outside was available on Android.

Potentially this could be a one-stop shop for astronomers...

Excellent stuff!

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Just a thought, but as a dedicated astro weather site, wouldn't it make more sense to split the 24 hour period per row at midday rather than midnight? That way you get all of one night on a row, rather than having to look at one row for the night up to midnight, and the next row for the following days small hours.

.....maybe have a toggle to offer the split at midnight or at midday, that way it can be tailored for both nighttime observers or daytime solar observers.

Just an idea, anyone else have an opinion on the above?

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Just a thought, but as a dedicated astro weather site, wouldn't it make more sense to split the 24 hour period per row at midday rather than midnight? That way you get all of one night on a row, rather than having to look at one row for the night up to midnight, and the next row for the following days small hours.

.....maybe have a toggle to offer the split at midnight or at midday, that way it can be tailored for both nighttime observers or daytime solar observers.

Just an idea, anyone else have an opinion on the above?

Read back four posts!

ChrisH

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Excellent effort, thanks!

Thinking about possible additional features, I echo Lawrence's suggestion above about midday to midday and also, the ability to have multiple locations or to customize which of the many indicators to display/sort.

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Fantastic! Love the feeling of warmth this gesture generates.

Power to you.

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Thanks for all the feedback guys :)

The idea of changing the day start/end times came up during testing. I was/am a little resistive to changing it because I personally prefer the natural day start-end times and it makes showing the daylight information and rise/set times a lot more intuitive.

In saying that though - I have some different ideas for how it could work in the apps where we will have gestures available to make it easy to swipe through a day so perhaps there we can do it slightly differently.

I also hope we could add in the ability for people to choose their own day start/end times - that way, everyone can be happy and set it up to their personal tastes and exclude hours they aren't interested in etc.. to create a custom look.

The other though I had - in the desktop view, there is potentially space to have another 3-4 hour columns, so we could expand each day to show until say 4am the next morning? This would cause some overlap in that those four hours of data would appear twice on day one and on day two but I don't think that would cause any harm - this way you could see how the evening progresses without switching days - any thoughts on this?

Cheers,

Grant

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Excellent effort, thanks!

Thinking about possible additional features, I echo Lawrence's suggestion above about midday to midday and also, the ability to have multiple locations or to customize which of the many indicators to display/sort.

Multiple locations will definitely come at some point :)

I would also like to let people customise the way the hours are rated - for example we do take wind into account but for some people (if they are in a sheltered location or have a huge mount with a tiny refractor on) wind is less of an issue so they would probably not want it to be a factor in the hourly rating unless it's gale force!

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Multiple locations will definitely come at some point :)

I would also like to let people customise the way the hours are rated - for example we do take wind into account but for some people (if they are in a sheltered location or have a huge mount with a tiny refractor on) wind is less of an issue so they would probably not want it to be a factor in the hourly rating unless it's gale force!

theres no pleasing some people grant, well done and thank you is what i say :smiley:

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theres no pleasing some people grant, well done and thank you is what i say :smiley:

Thank you but we do genuinely hope people keep the feedback and ideas coming. We see this very much as 'Version 1' and will continue to develop and expand it whilst the demand is there.

We will obviously focus on the most requested features first like dedicated apps but, if there is enough demand for things then we will try to do them :)

Cheers,

Grant

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Good question :)

We do not currently provide a measure of the seeing in terms of arc seconds etc... for a few reasons - any place that does offer this already, will say somewhere that it's experimental and unvalidated - there is no definitive algorithm for calculating seeing in this way so we've not focussed on this for phase one - it's something we may look into as a future addition but, we will probably not use this measure when calculating the hourly traffic light colour because with the skies and weather we have in this country, a clear night is already a lot to ask for, so a clear night with perfect seeing is very hard to come by!

Cheers,

Grant

I've always found the visibility figures available on the metoffice website to be a reasonable indication of seeing quality, along with humidity and high level cloud and jet stream position, but it is hugely variable. Decent visibility is about the best indicator of a good nights viewing/imaging ahead though.

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Very cool, very useful, and works nicely.

Impressive to have access to all the stuff you need in the same place.

Many thanks guys!

Cheers

Simon

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Thanks, FLO, some really nice features on top of the actual forecast :smiley: ISS passover times, lunar phase, darkness times, etc. The little "HOW TO USE" tutorial helped orient me, nice touch :cool:

Edited by Luke

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 thanks all, a good resource for all

like the little ditty about "Red means stay indoors and browse your favourite Astro retailers website ;-)"  :p

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Failed for me tonight - predicted clear at all levels from 11-02am but I got about 15 mins - try again another night - looks good though

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They (various sources of forecast) all pretty much failed for me also. It was difficult to be precise though because a stream of cloud and rain was moving erratically N up the west side of the country. The real situation was shown on Sat24 satellite images and that is what I tend to use these days, but extrapolating even a few hours in advance is still tricky.

ChrisH

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Nice idea. :cool:

As soon as my obsy roof is opened it will be cloudy, guaranteed. :evil::grin:

My obsy roof was bang on last night. :cool:

Not a cloud in sight all day but come 10.30PM, open obsy roof, within 5minutes cloudy.

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wow, that's a pretty big project to take on. Version 1 looks really nice congratulations.

A couple of minor suggestions

How about a mouse over tool tip on the hours that are red / orange to say why at a glance

Does a 1% chance of 0.01mm of rain need to be counted as precipitation? living in the UK I'd take those odds any day :)

Thanks for putting it together

Tyr

ps In my opinion apps of web pages are overrated,  some developers seem to sink large amounts of unnecessary resources into maintaining apps (think of the frequency of new android / IOS releases), when a well scaling well designed web page with a thought out mobile layout would do the job just as well for much lower maintenance costs.

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Nice idea!

Can you include a way to store locations so I don't have to input my location every time?

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wow, that's a pretty big project to take on. Version 1 looks really nice congratulations.

A couple of minor suggestions

How about a mouse over tool tip on the hours that are red / orange to say why at a glance

Does a 1% chance of 0.01mm of rain need to be counted as precipitation? living in the UK I'd take those odds any day :)

Thanks for putting it together

Tyr

ps In my opinion apps of web pages are overrated,  some developers seem to sink large amounts of unnecessary resources into maintaining apps (think of the frequency of new android / IOS releases), when a well scaling well designed web page with a thought out mobile layout would do the job just as well for much lower maintenance costs.

We will have a look at tidying up when the chance and amount are so low - there will probably be other areas that might need to normalisation for whacky figures like that.

I agree with you - we will likely take a hybrid approach to the dedicated apps to allow us to make use of built in features (compass) of devices but still use HTML5 for the look and layouts.

Cheers,

Grant

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Nice idea!

Can you include a way to store locations so I don't have to input my location every time?

A few people have asked for this and it is something we will add at some point - for the moment we didn't want to require people to register to use the site so instead, when you request a forecast, the URL of the page will change. If you then bookmark this URL it will take you back to that locations forecast everytime.

Cheers,

Grant

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A few people have asked for this and it is something we will add at some point - for the moment we didn't want to require people to register to use the site so instead, when you request a forecast, the URL of the page will change. If you then bookmark this URL it will take you back to that locations forecast everytime.

Cheers,

Grant

Thanks Grant.  Can the location not be stored in a cookie?

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