1. Welcome to PlowSite. Notice a fresh look and new features? It’s now easier to share photos and videos, find popular topics fast, and enjoy expanded user profiles. If you have any questions, click HELP at the top or bottom of any page, or send an email to help@plowsite.com. We welcome your feedback.

    Dismiss Notice

Weather Website

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Lazer, Dec 1, 2000.

  1. Lazer

    Lazer Senior Member
    Messages: 399

    I was wondering where I could get weather information in the internet.

    (Don't give me weather.com)

    I was curious if any knew of a quality (paid?) site I could use at the office.



    (No cable TV, there. I know all about DTN, just not sure about pulling the trigger and am looking for something else.)
     
  2. cowboy

    cowboy Member
    Messages: 75

    Well check out weatherbase.com, to get some historical information.

    I'm in aviation, if you want some really good weather look at some private pilot sites and you should find the weather. You will need to find weather that is decoded though.

    I'll look around at some of the sites I know and see what I can find for you, that someone off the street can read.

    Cowboy
     
  3. GroundKprs

    GroundKprs PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 5

    DTN has an internet based subscription service. In the past it was $30 per quarter. They have a 7 day free trial at: http://www.dtnonline.com/ . You customize your own pages. You have access to all up to the minute weather data.

    Tried it one winter, but couldn't get decent reception via cell phones back then. Graphics of moving radar would have taken forever. Object was to be able to read current radar in the truck to know whether to do a quick clearing if it's still going to snow, or if snow is ending then do a good cleanup. Was a great picture on desktop, and info no more than 10-15 min old. Weather channel (& weather.com) buy their info from DTN, but get 45 - 60 minute old data (cheaper to buy older data).
     
  4. iowastorm

    iowastorm Senior Member
    Messages: 358

    Lazer,

    Are you looking for real time weather or forecast data?
     
  5. GroundKprs

    GroundKprs PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 5

    P.S. Advantage of DTNonline is that you can access your customized pages from any computer connected to the internet, anywhere in the world, and get up to the minute weather data.

    DTN weather system is set up at one site, and not remotely accessable(?) Think they were working on remote access couple of years ago.
     
  6. Lazer

    Lazer Senior Member
    Messages: 399

    Thanx guys;

    storm,
    I've somewhat "de-remotized" i.e. I don't have the mobil computer anymore, I return calls when I get back to the office and don't write/type up quotes on the site anymore.

    I did try a small portable TV which would pick up a regional radar, but the image wasn't readable.

    Anyway, I'm checking out this DTNonline, thanks GroundKprs, that might scratch me right where I itch.
     
  7. Charles

    Charles Moderator Staff Member
    Messages: 253

    I think Intellicast.com is the best and it is free. Updated radar 4 times in an hour. i don't see how you can beat that. Local radar and 6 hour loop
     
  8. plowking35

    plowking35 2000 Club Member
    from SE CT
    Messages: 2,923

    Dont waste your money on the DTN web service. I used it last year, all forcasts are from NWS which means they are not worth jack, and the radar is at least an hour old all the time.
    Dino
     
  9. Lazer

    Lazer Senior Member
    Messages: 399

    Dino wrote:
    "all forecasts are from NWS, which means they are not worth jack"

    Every forcast I've seen/heard for my area has been a NWS forecast. (Radio, TV, web, weather channel, newspaper, etc.)

    Who else has the weather collection infrastucture and computation power to indendently construct a weather forecast?
     
  10. thelawnguy

    thelawnguy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,011

    NWS forecasts are accurate, if, and thats a big if, you are located near one of their reporting stations. Several years ago NWS eliminated most of the local reporting stations and centralized their forecasting in regional reporting stations. For Dino and myself, the closest NWS station is 75 miles north in MA. They rarely come close to accuracy in the CT river valley area. Intellicast is just as bad, though the 12 hour forecast is almost as good as a coin toss. I compare the 3 local TV station forecasts with three web sites (weather, intellicast, nws) then check my own weather station outside, then set the alarm for 2am and check again.
     
  11. Lazer

    Lazer Senior Member
    Messages: 399

    That makes sense.

    I guess I should be thankful for my 2.3 mile proximity to the regional NWS.

    I was surprised when I saw how far of an area the had to cover with each center.
     
  12. John Allin

    John Allin PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,327

    Depending upon how much you want to spend, you can get some specifically written reports for your market area. There are several ways to go about it, and DTN is one of them. DTN will write specialized programs to have downloaded thru a dish to your computer or network. In fact, you can get 6 minute radar updates (special order) and you can actually tie into the NWS reporting stations anywhere in the country (again, special order). Kinda depends on the budget you have available. We have a rather large budget for weather information (as you can imagine with the area we cover) and we have it all tied to our network server so a number of us in the office can get to the information, including 'history' and all the NWS advisories within minutes of their being issued. We have an icon that pops up whenever any kind of advisor is posted for any of the markets we work in. And, we get reports of any snowfall totals in excess of 2" at any of the reporting stations. You might be surprised at just how many reporting stations there are (for history). The NWS shut down forecasting stations, but kept quite a few reporting stations (there's a major difference in how they are staffed).

    Still, this is expensive and prohibitive for most contractors for a small market circle. You can get most of it off the net if you just take a little time to dig it up. We don't want to take the time to dig and want it reported to us regularly.

    But... quite honestly, we have the weather channel on in two offices constantly in order to get a "feel" for what's happening where.

    All this probably doesn't help much, but it's nice food for thought....... and gives me practice at typing.
     
  13. Lazer

    Lazer Senior Member
    Messages: 399

    Oh, stop it! ;)

    We all know you have an assistant who types all your posts, just like a NFL superstar visiting a chat room.

    I like the dtnonline, it'd be all I need but I wish the radar would be less than an hour old.
     
  14. cowboy

    cowboy Member
    Messages: 75

    For 16$ an hour you could employee a Weather Observer (what the NWS has) and boom, you have someone that will know what the weather will be like. Have a friend who works for the NWS at Boeing Field, Seattle (airport)and I just ask him what the weather will be like and he knows!

    Cowboy
     
  15. iowastorm

    iowastorm Senior Member
    Messages: 358

    Why even waste your time on local forecasts; be it from a private forecasting company, media outlets or the NWS. It you guys are having such a problem with accurate forecasts, it's not too hard to do a little forecasting on your own. All of the raw data is available for free on the net and it's not to hard to figure out a model run as to possible upcoming wx patterns.

    If you guys want better radar that updates every 7 minutes and don't mind paying $35/ year, then I recommend weathertap.com

    Otherwise, enjoy using those crappy wx sites; intellicast, TWC, etc. and stop complaining about them.
     
  16. Snow Pro

    Snow Pro Senior Member
    Messages: 146

    DTN

    I remember how our SIMA group members humiliated (or at least embarrassed) the DTN speaker at the Pittsburgh Symposium. It was then I decided not to get DTN for our company. I wonder if the dtnonline might be a better arrangement.
     
  17. plowking35

    plowking35 2000 Club Member
    from SE CT
    Messages: 2,923

    My deal is that i could care about the actual forcast. We are always prepared. What I really need is reliable info when the event is happening. What ttpe of precip is falling, is it about to change over to another type, what are the snow fall rates, and when is it going to be over. We get alot of back lash snowfall, meaning the main even is over , and about an hour or two later the back end will swing through and we get another inch or two. If we clean all the accounts during the lull, we have to redo them. So I like some of the fax and pager updates that are available during winter weather events.
    Dino
     
  18. Lazer

    Lazer Senior Member
    Messages: 399

    That's exactly right, Dino.

    That's what I need: Info (radar) that basically tells me how close we are to being done.
     
  19. Lazer

    Lazer Senior Member
    Messages: 399

    THANK-YOU STORM!

    Weathertap is precisely what I needed.
     
  20. iowastorm

    iowastorm Senior Member
    Messages: 358

    Lazer: No problem. It's a great service - the radar and satellite are the best on the web.