How’s the Weather Out There?

I’ve been work­ing on mov­ing a bunch of our old fam­i­ly web­site (Black Dog Farm) to a new serv­er (Blackdog and Magpie.) It’s not the pret­ti­est web­site you’ll ever see but it serves well as a sandbox.

At the moment I“m work­ing on build­ing a new set of weath­er report­ing pages. We have a fair­ly com­plete set of weath­er obser­va­tion instru­ments and an old machine in the serv­er cab­i­net that records that data from them. Here at the MCWD I can fire up a pro­gram called Virtual Weather Station and look at many (many) graphs, charts, and reports. The trick now is to get all that love­ly data up on the web. (I’ll detail some of the strengths and weak­ness­es of VWS in anoth­er post.)

In addi­tion to dis­play­ing our total geek­i­ness by hav­ing live weath­er report­ing on our web­site, we use the report­ed data to keep track of some of the highs and lows of rur­al life. Like pow­er line destroy­ing winds and freez­ing temperatures. 

Today’s quandary is about what data to put where on which page and how to arrange it.

The main item on the first page is easy. VWS pro­vides a nice sum­ma­ry graph­ic called “Broadcast” that is uploaded via ftp. 

Weather summary

But what to do with the rest of the space? In par­tic­u­lar what to do with the left col­umn? I’m torn between pro­vid­ing cool stuff for vis­i­tors, like a rotat­ing Northwest weath­er triv­ia and pro­vid­ing the infor­ma­tion I most need when I’m not at the house.