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Weather app,s true or false!?


Supernova74
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Hi to you all on the stargazers lounge and hope the weather forecast has been forgiving for you all in your current location as most part for myself the weather has behaved here in Stoneleigh just outside From Epsom race course. I’ve decided to write another topic this evening Regarding the good old uk weather forecast and for most it’s been not bad for this time of year hottest day here in London in April which has broken the record.and last year in 2019 hottest day ever in uk which I believe was in Cambridge!?Ive only been a member on stargazers lounge for just a few months now and yes love it 🥰.however as usual I read certain topics and forums ,posts etc etc and I’ve notice a pattern emerging in posts regarding the weather and let’s face it yes imagers,and visual Astronomers alike rely on the weather to behave so we can either try attempt that great image or visual Astronomy to the best of our advantage with our equipment allows.but are some including myself relying on thease clear outside,Accuweather etc to be an accurate prediction of the weather forecast as most folk in Amateur Astronomy like there tec jargon adore talking about scopes eyepieces and myself like wise however form my experiences with thease weather apps I feel I cannot just rely on and have been proved inaccurate on predicting the weather forecast and at times has left me in frustration as reliable information.so another way round for me that works a little bit better for me is work out an Average this consists of looking at three different weather apps and if all say the same clear outside the general rule of thumb a good pretty chance it will be!?besides back in the day before goto mounts even exsisted for exsample we all used to use star charts,maps and so on to find an object we wished to observe with freezing cold hands painstaking trying to find that object.but coming to the conclusion now I’ve just found the old fashioned way works best for me now look up and use those blinkers as if the weather has been great during the day a very good chance it will be clear during the night and this system works for me but maybe not you and let’s face it even the great Michael fish got it wrong on occasions.

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Aactually th ‘great during the day, likely to be good at night’ doesn’t often work, although we live in strange ‘aircraft free’ times currently so have had plenty of good skies to enjoy.

I tend to ignore most forecasts, and just make my own guesstimate at it based on Sat24, and am generally more accurate than the forecasts for that day.

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It has to be remembered that many/most of the standalone apps just populate a graphical interface with raw model data. There are only so many sources of model data and some apps will use the same data.

The apps add no forecasting skill to the data. It is presented "as is".

Now, if you afford yourself of a good forecaster's skill there is better chance of a meaningful forecast. I recommend the forecasts presented by the Met Office ( they are after all our national weather service) and the BBC. Both providers output is reviewed by a senior forecaster and presented by a meteorologist. Their skill counts for something!

It is also worth bearing in mind that one man's clear sky is another man's cloudy. Most people want to know if it's going to be warm and sunny or cold and raining. Clear skies over night is no guarantee of good stargazing conditions.

I watch satellite imagery if I'm planning on stargazing, as I did last night. It helped me time the arrival of the overnight cloud and rain. Infrared imagery doesn't show low (warm) cloud but still shows how the air masses are moving and developing. In the days when I had shelves filled with books I had as many meteorology books as I did astronomy books. I think meteorology is something you need to embrace as a stargazer!

 

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I check satellite imagery for cloud patterns and direction of travel in the early evening - something like this site: Satellite Cloud Cover This gives the cloud cover and movement for the previous hour or so. I've found this approach to deciding whether the 'scope will be out for the evening or not much more reliable than using weather apps which cannot really give a local enough forecast.  

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