Hi all, I wanted to share with you a little project I've been working on over the last couple of weeks. It's called "The Poor Man's Weather Monitor".

As probably with every other astronomer who has been researching weather stations over the last month or so and haven't made up their mind...it's a harder decision than I originally thought....Do I really want to drop almost $2k on a Boltwood? Not really....what about Davis....all of those add-ons add up....ugggg....

So, in the interim, I wrote a program that is definitely better than nothing. Actually, it is working out a lot better than expected. Over the last couple of weeks we've had a wide range of weather -- clear skies, high winds, partly cloudy, winter storm warnings, etc.

What it does is evaluate up to 10 Weather Underground weather stations (airport and personal) sky conditions XML. From there, I assign a score to the sky condition and if it meets my "Safe" parameter, ACP will see it as "SAFE". If the conditions are not optimal, "UNSAFE". I also built in an expiration to the COM, so if the weather data is old, "UNSAFE".

The downside of using the Weather Underground API is that you are limited to 500 calls a night...unless you pay a monthly fee. So, my little program makes calls about every 15-20 minutes or so when it is nighttime and only once every couple of hours during the day.

What I did is chose weather stations that surround my observatory. So, anything coming in from any direction is caught.


Just wanted to show you what I did for an interim weather solution....if you can call it that...

As I said, it is better than nothing.