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Old 07-22-08, 10:03 AM   #1
sirpablo
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Weather Forecasts

I just wanted to offer some information on weather observations and forecasts that you can use in your decision making process regarding to biking. Some background - I am a degreed meteorologist with several years of experience who works for the Federal Government.



To begin with, Weather.gov is the main page for the National Weather Service. From the large U.S. map you can click on your local area, which will take you to your local office. For this example, I'll pretend I live in Minneapolis, so I'll click on central Minnesota and be taken to the NWS office in the Twin Cities. At the local office Web site, you'll see another map of the local area. Click anywhere on this map for a high-resolution, point-click forecast.




The forecast page that pops-up has a great deal of information. The icons at the top show you the weather for the next few days, with the text forecast for the next seven days located below the icons. To the right you'll find the Current Conditions from the closest weather observing station. If you click on "More Local Wx" you'll get a page of additional stations in the vicinity. Clicking on "3 Day History" will display the hourly weather observations for the past three days. Below that, you'll find links to satellite and RADAR images. Further down, a small map will show the local area - you can click on this map to get a new forecast and refine your forecast point.

Toward the bottom right corner you'll find many links. One of them will be the "Hourly Weather Graph". This will display the hour-by-hour forecast weather for the point you clicked on, including temperature, relative humidity, wind, precipitation chances, etc. You may also be interested in the "Forecast Discussion" - a semi-technical discussion written by a meteorologist detailing the thinking behind the forecast.



Finally, back on the main page of the local office (you can get back to it by clicking on the name of the office at the very top) there is a link to the "Activity Planner". This is a pretty neat tool that allows you to specify what weather conditions you are looking for or looking to avoid. For example, I can input that I want to know when the winds will be less than 10 MPH and the temperature below 80 °F, click on a point, and the resulting image will highlight the hours which are forecast to meet my criteria.

Hopefully this information has been useful. If you have any questions for me please ask. There is quite a wealth of information on the NWS Web pages, and each local office has some slightly difference features (some more, some less) so I suggest checking it out. I'll last mention the NWS RADAR Page, which you can use to access RADAR images/loops for anywhere in the country. And remember, this is all with no advertisements/banners as the NWS is paid for by your tax dollars (an average of $3 per person per year).
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Old 07-22-08, 10:30 AM   #2
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I love weather.gov, even back in the day when the only web browser you had was lynx. (Now that is old school.) Thanks for the info.

BTW, I love the RSS feeds. Just added it to my "ticker".
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Old 07-22-08, 10:36 AM   #3
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Do I get a refund when it's wrong?
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Old 07-22-08, 11:11 AM   #4
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Very nice to have it all in 1 easy place. Thanks for the info
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Old 07-22-08, 11:45 AM   #5
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I'm doing something wrong. What I would love to find is a pinpoint type of graphic forecast showing rain possibibility 6 to hours out. I just can't find it.

Might you select Denver and go thru the step by step. I'ld like to see local forecast for area between Denver and Boulder.

thanks
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Old 07-22-08, 12:01 PM   #6
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I usually check weather.com, but the wind forecasts only seem to predict about half of
what the actual wind velocity is.
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Old 07-22-08, 12:45 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hobartlemagne View Post
I usually check weather.com, but the wind forecasts only seem to predict about half of
what the actual wind velocity is.
Same with wundergound.com, they always grossly underestimate the headwinds and overestimate the tailwinds.
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Old 07-22-08, 12:48 PM   #8
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How do they do with crosswinds.
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Old 07-22-08, 01:53 PM   #9
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You guys have to realize that the state of the science is has not reached a point where every 100 feet can be accurately forecast for every 15 minutes. These forecasts are going to be more generalized for time/space, but are better than the forecasts of 10 years ago. These forecasts are pushing the boundary of what is reasonable anyways...so take things with a grain of salt. No forecast is 100% accurate or infallible.

As for the area between Denver and Boulder, here is the hourly forecast for Broomfield.
http://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick...Type=graphical
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Old 07-22-08, 01:59 PM   #10
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So is it true each diploma in meteorology comes with a map, blindfold and a set of darts?
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Old 07-22-08, 02:25 PM   #11
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So is it true each diploma in meteorology comes with a map, blindfold and a set of darts?
Don't be an ass! Darts are dangerous. They come with magnetic clouds.
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Old 07-22-08, 02:44 PM   #12
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Thanks - I love the weather radar, but the environment canada weather radar for Montreal has been out of operation since the beginning of the summer. From your weather .gov site I got this nice picture. http://radar.weather.gov/radar.php?r...101111&loop=no
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