Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Comparison of public weather forecasts for Adelaide

If I want what I consider the most accurate forecast for Adelaide, I'm going to refer to the Bureau of Meteorology forecast. There are a number of other weather sites on the Internet, so let's see how close their forecasts are to what I'll call the "official" one.

Note, temperature is measured in Celsius in Australia, so those are the units I'm displaying. Out of interest, 42°C is equivalent to 107.6°F which is equivalent to hot!

BoM Forecast

PRECIS FORECAST FOR ADELAIDE
Issued at 5:00 am on Monday, 31 January 2011

Monday               Max 42   Dry. Sunny.

Tuesday     Min 24   Max 33   Fine. Mostly sunny.
Wednesday   Min 20   Max 34   Fine. Mostly sunny.
Thursday    Min 22   Max 34   Fine. Mostly sunny.

wunderground.com

http://www.wunderground.com/global/stations/94672.html

Predicting 37°C

image

weather.com

http://uk.weather.com/weather/today-Adelaide-ASXX0001?fromSearch=true

I went to the UK version of weather.com as that seemed to be the easiest way to get the temperatures in Celsius.

Forecast: 40°C

image

accuweather.com

http://www.accuweather.com/en-us/au/south-australia/adelaide/quick-look.aspx

Forecast: 42°C

image

theweathernetwork.com

http://www.theweathernetwork.com/weather/ausa0001

Forecast: 32°C

image

image

weatherbug.com

http://weather.weatherbug.com/Australia/Adelaide-weather.html?zcode=z6286&lang_id=en-au

Forecast: 33°C

Looking at the screengrab, I can see why they're called weatherbug.

image

So as you can see, most of these have absolutely no idea.. I can only presume they are throwing darts at a dart board with the numbers they come up with. Accuweather seemed to be the closest to the Bureau's figures.

And as it turned out, Monday did get to 42°C, so the BoM was on the money.

4 comments:

Simon Holman said...

I've tried a heap of weather apps for the WP7 and removed them all because they're all crap.

David Gardiner said...

I've been trialling AU Weather Pro. It uses BoM data so in that respect should be ok.

I understand the developer also produces similar apps for Media Center.

Even though I presume it's just using the BoM's public data, I'd say the app is probably adding enough value to justify the $3. Plus I believe it has a live tile which is nice.

-dave

Ben Laan said...

Dave,

Nice write up on the pain of weather in Australia. I have the same thoughts every time I look at WeatherFail.. err. WeatherBug..

I'm currently working on a BoM WP7 app as you probably know, and although they provide good data, it is actually quite hard to get at!

The public feed is ftp only, which unfortunately is not actually supported by WP7 at this stage.

Scraping the data is also problematic, since there are at least 3 formats used by different cities...

Still, I've built a service that supplies JSON to the phone so this is somewhat mitigated at this stage. Of course, I expect that MS will rectify this issue in due course.., and so I am not sure about whether to ship the app using a service I provide 'in the cloud'...

David Gardiner said...

It is annoying that the BoM is living in the dark ages and only publishing the data on their FTP server.

Also, as you probably know there's various formats but not for everywhere.. "For Victoria, New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory only, forecasts are available in XML"

-dave