Walker Engineering maintains KORPORTL71 on Wunderground in an attempt to record local data. It has been interesting to us to use it to compare data sets from the local area along with the official PDX information. It has also been extremely useful in supporting local bike commuters via the Wundermap which is one of the all time winners in online weather information whether one uses the Chrome PlugIn, the iPhone App, or just the site itself.
Now, as reported in the NYTimes, we are actually going to provide the kind of information that will allow for improved weather forecasting locally. Amazing Engineering Feat!
Users Help a Weather Site Hone Its Forecasts
By DANIEL E. SLOTNIK, NYTimes, Published: March 20, 2011
Kevin Bleier, an amateur meteorologist, lugged a weather station up several precarious ladders to reach the peaked roof on his 40-foot-tall house in Alameda, Calif., then mounted it on a 15-foot pole to capture data for his personal weather site.
Peter DaSilva for The New York Times
Alan Steremberg of Weather Underground, which collects data from amateurs and professionals.
But the data is not for Mr. Bleier’s site alone. His station and over 20,000 like it worldwide are part of the largest network of weather stations ever assembled, according to the meteorological Web site Weather Underground.
The network is part of an audacious plan to crowd-source weather measurement and, Weather Underground hopes, to snatch viewers from its larger competitor, the Weather Channel’s Weather.com. In the last six months, Weather Underground has averaged about 14 million unique visitors a month in the United States, while Weather.com attracted about 42 million, according to Quantcast, an online metrics company.