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Old 11-19-04, 11:08 AM   #1
HiYoSilver
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Could we get a TV daily weather report for bike commuters?

Had an idea and wonder what you think. Would this help in awareness of scope of biking commuters?

Have local bike groups contact local TV stations and ask for 10 second forecast for bike commuters.

When contact TV station, need
-- support of local bike org and not just one rider
-- census data for your area on number of bike commuters
-- translation for math challenged, for every 4 buses you see, there is one bike commuter
-- total number of bike commuters, probably between 25,000 to 80,000+

-- clarification of what asking for:
-- AM rain/moisture prediction during morning commute, i.e. at 6:45 am and broadcast between 6:00am and 6:10 am
-- PM rain/moisture prediction during afternoon commute, i.e. at 4:30pm and broadcast between 6:00am and 6:10 am

I'm thinking this would provide the following benefits:
1-- alert drivers there are bicycle commuters
2-- let us know early enough whether to dress for rain/snow or not this day.
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Old 11-19-04, 11:11 AM   #2
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I don't see any difference between this and the regular weather reports.
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Old 11-19-04, 11:28 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by supcom
I don't see any difference between this and the regular weather reports.
Me either. Would this help raise awareness? I don't really think so. Believe me, I would support anything to try to help our cause, but I seem to run into a lot of apathy amongst the cagers and it doesn't seem like they'll ever care. They are either amused or annoyed by us, if they even bother to acknowledge our presence, that is.

To get my morning forecast I listen to the weather radio when I'm showering. Works great.
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Old 11-19-04, 11:35 AM   #4
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Our Denver area weather reports have something called "pinpoint weather". This is a graphic image of projected shower activity overlayed on metro map and color coded for amount of moisture. So you can see cells of moisture moving across the metro map and tell if these storms will hit your commute, or if they will run higher or lower than your ride. The pinpoint weather usually steps by a 2 hour time line.

Asking for a pause for a few second at 6:45-7:00am and 4:30-5:00pm so riders can see if they will be in the elements or not. It doesn't make sense to dress for elements, if they are higher or lower during actual commute times.

The other problem with pinpoint weather, is the weather person is easily distracted and the pinpoint can come anytime between 6:00am and 6:30am. I don't like to wait that late to start commuting. I would love to get the report at 6:02am and get out the door by 6:10am.

So differences:
-- pause of weather slide show for a few seconds during bike commute times,
-- dependable scheduling of pinpoint weather show
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Old 11-19-04, 11:43 AM   #5
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I bought a NOAA weather receiver just for this purpose. I just snapped one day after sitting through 10 minutes of sports and commercials to hear the weather forecast "It is 34 and snowing, and on to other news" on a major AM radio station here in Detroit. I could look out my window and see that.

The advantages of the NOAA broadcast to cyclists are:
  • NOAA gives a more detailed forecast for winds than the usual auto commuter forecast.
  • NOAA gives a forecast for morning, mid-day, and evening.
  • NOAA is generally more detailed and accurate.

The last point is both good and bad. I am still waiting to be asked for the water temperature at Belle Isle in casual conversation. I hear it every day and have yet to figure out how to work it in.

This suggestion has real possibilities as a new way to torture interns though. Instead of just posting them on a freeway overpass during a blizzard and filming them as they try to give a description of the weather and avoid being blown over the rail at the same time, they could have a helmet-cam view of some unlucky SOB trying to make his way down Woodward in the pre-dawn blizzard.

Dan
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Old 11-19-04, 11:51 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanFromDetroit
I bought a NOAA weather receiver just for this purpose. I just snapped one day after sitting through 10 minutes of sports and commercials to hear the weather forecast "It is 34 and snowing, and on to other news" on a major AM radio station here in Detroit. I could look out my window and see that.

The advantages of the NOAA broadcast to cyclists are:
  • NOAA gives a more detailed forecast for winds than the usual auto commuter forecast.
  • NOAA gives a forecast for morning, mid-day, and evening.
  • NOAA is generally more detailed and accurate.
I'm amazed that a group of web-surfers are still getting their weather forecasts from TV or the radio. wunderground.com gives you the latest National Weather Service data and radar images. They update the radar images at 5 minute intervals, have wind speed and direction, and in my area have data for several weather stations right in my town.
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Old 11-19-04, 12:04 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by steve_wmn
They update the radar images at 5 minute intervals, have wind speed and direction, and in my area have data for several weather stations right in my town.
But do they have radar forecast images for the day? If so, then won't need TV weather at all. Good ridance.
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Old 11-19-04, 12:09 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by supcom
I don't see any difference between this and the regular weather reports.
Me neither. I don't really seeing any benifit for it and I really do not think it will raise awerness. Good public service anouncements about cyclist and laws would serve us better.
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Old 11-19-04, 01:45 PM   #9
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Get a weather radio, or a small AM radio with the NWS broadcasts, or a set of walkie talkies with the NWS broadcasts, etc. That is all the weather information you need for bike commuting.
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Old 11-19-04, 03:34 PM   #10
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I've been using Desktop Weather from the Weather Channel. It's a small program that you download and run on your desktop (hence the name). It's customized to your ZIP code. It looks like a mini weather station, with current temp, barometric pressure and wind speed/direction. It also has a twelve hour forecast and a three day forecast.

I think it does a superb job... and the price is right... free! Here's the link.

http://www.weather.com/services/desk...homewxanywhere
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Old 11-22-04, 04:33 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve_wmn
I'm amazed that a group of web-surfers are still getting their weather forecasts from TV or the radio. wunderground.com gives you the latest National Weather Service data and radar images. They update the radar images at 5 minute intervals, have wind speed and direction, and in my area have data for several weather stations right in my town.
or you could go to www.noaa.com and get it from them directly without the ads
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Old 11-22-04, 05:45 PM   #12
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Another vote for NOAA. The nightly weather report here that shows up first is at 9:35pm for me, which has the potential to make me late for work (depends on stops) if I watch it. I mainly look for how it will be when I am heading home, not when I am leaving, since I can see that by looking out the window.
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Old 11-22-04, 06:13 PM   #13
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I'm amazed that a group of web-surfers are still getting their weather forecasts from TV or the radio.
LOL! My thought exactly. I get my weather from the weather channel website (in Canada). Forecasts for morning, afternoon, evening and night. The most important parameter for me is wind, but frankly, it doesn't matter much since I gotta get to work anyway and I always carry a "foul weather kit" in my pannier. If the forecast calls for something nasty, I check the TAF forecasts for aviation. Current conditions are always dead-on since I work at the weather station.
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Old 11-22-04, 06:28 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HiYoSilver
Had an idea and wonder what you think. Would this help in awareness of scope of biking commuters?

Have local bike groups contact local TV stations and ask for 10 second forecast for bike commuters.
I love it. It would sound something like this:

"Good morning bicycle commuters! Here's the local forcast for the ride in today: in the metro area, the forcast is for hell to freeze over!"



(j/k)
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Old 11-22-04, 06:31 PM   #15
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I'm just kidding. (You got to have a little fun!)
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Old 11-22-04, 06:45 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by nick burns
Me either. Would this help raise awareness? I don't really think so. Believe me, I would support anything to try to help our cause, but I seem to run into a lot of apathy amongst the cagers and it doesn't seem like they'll ever care. They are either amused or annoyed by us, if they even bother to acknowledge our presence, that is.

To get my morning forecast I listen to the weather radio when I'm showering. Works great.
When, oh when, will "we" get it ???!! It's not cyclists that annoy drivers, it's EVERYTHING outside their little world inside the car that annoys them. Other cars, birds, planes, cyclists, etc. A cyclist on the road near an idiot in a car is like the hapless retail store clerk that customers find to scream at. These people are just too cheap to spend $200 an hour for a decent shrink to take their stress out on, so they substitute some innocent bystander.

How about, if the forecaster is wrong, then we have apool of cyclists names, and they pick one at random, and have to ride with them on their way home?
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Old 11-22-04, 06:45 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by LittleBigMan
I love it. It would sound something like this:

"Good morning bicycle commuters! Here's the local forcast for the ride in today: in the metro area, the forcast is for hell to freeze over!"



(j/k)
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Old 11-23-04, 07:06 AM   #18
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Humm, I can just see a news cameraman baiting a cycylist for a good falling shot and an opportunity to make fun of cyclists. Maybe not such a good idea.

It's Noahy Doity time
No slight on Howdy Doody, but it looks like NOAA is best. They now do have time images at 5 hr intervals and rough graphic probably of prep map. Close enought, right. What do we need to know:
-- probability of precip
-- estimated temps
-- estimated winds or just give us the wind chill.

Sorry, ABC, NB, CBS, you're a non productive use of time anymore and we don't have to listen to your drivel anymore.

I retract my suggestion.
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Old 11-23-04, 08:16 AM   #19
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Here's what I do, and it's proven to be pretty accurate to about 15-20 minutes.
I look at the approaching storm cell on the animated radar image on either weather.com or NOAA and I measure the distance from the last frame of the animation to where I am. Then I measure the distance from the first frame to where I am. Subtract that distance and knowing that the animation is 1 hour of radar time, I know how many inches this thing is moving across my screen. Knowing that, I know how long it'll take roughly for the storm to get to me. And knowing that the radar image is 20 minutes old, I subtract 20 and another 20 for a safety and I know if I'll get to work or home dry or not.
Another use for the calipers I swiped from my old job.
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Old 11-23-04, 09:05 AM   #20
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Great idea, thanks.

I didn't want to ride in the snow today so had to drive. Ugh, addicted to riding, but not ready for snow tires, this year anyway. I'll see how many days I lose this year cause only road tires.
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Old 11-23-04, 12:17 PM   #21
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Actually, I am more concerned about the weather when I'm riding in, especially the details. If I'm in an enclosed vehicle, it's not a big deal, but when I'll be exposed on the bike, I want to know temperature, wind direction and speed, precipitation, even UV index. (Does this make me the, "Felix Unger" of bike forums? )
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Old 11-23-04, 07:09 PM   #22
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Here is NOAA's main page. If you live in the states just click on the map and it will send you to your local NOAA office. Bookmark that page. From there you can get your local weather including radar, satellite images, wind direction and speed, rain totals, forecasts, and a lot more. http://www.crh.noaa.gov/
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Old 11-23-04, 07:19 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slvoid
Here's what I do, and it's proven to be pretty accurate to about 15-20 minutes.
I look at the approaching storm cell on the animated radar image on either weather.com or NOAA and I measure the distance from the last frame of the animation to where I am. Then I measure the distance from the first frame to where I am.
I guess your storms move in an orderly fashion!

Ours don't.

We get storms from east, west, north and south, and they don't all move in a straight line. The Rocky Mountains (over 14,000 feet) are a major factor in our varied weather, being just west of the metro area. And then we have "upslopes" where the storm sneaks back west from the east, Chinooks from the mountains, etc.
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Old 11-23-04, 07:53 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by DnvrFox
I guess your storms move in an orderly fashion!

Ours don't.

We get storms from east, west, north and south, and they don't all move in a straight line. The Rocky Mountains (over 14,000 feet) are a major factor in our varied weather, being just west of the metro area. And then we have "upslopes" where the storm sneaks back west from the east, Chinooks from the mountains, etc.
It's either coming from the northwest or southwest or west. Generally a massive storm system doesn't change direction easily, it takes a lot of energy to stop all that momentum. North eastern coast weather baby!
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