Ephemerata Weather Radar now in Beta mode
Preliminary testing is now complete and the system is live in beta test. The html page is quite rough at this point and will get cleaned up as I determine what content is going to settle on it. Updates are determined by three different update cycles: NWS NEXRAD/Doppler Radar/RIDGE update cycles, the Ephemerata polling cycle for NWS data, and the website FTP update with the current scan. Timing of these is a bit haphazard as the only controllable cycle is the FTP update to my web server. The Ephemerata program polling cycle is about 2-3 min on NWS, but NWS updates at 10 min. intervals in clear air modes (VCP 31,32), and at 5-6 min. intervals in precipitation modes (VCP 11,21,121). The FTP web update cycles at 7.5 minutes to try and keep the web update as current as possible.
(UPDATE: I’m playing with this a lot. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to consume ISP and server resources updating empty data. When serious active weather is present it will be on a tight update schedule, otherwise updating will stretch out to to possibly only every hour or so. If there is nothing going on for long periods, updating may be suspended until something comes along (flagged “offline” in the sidebar). You can therefore expect not much is happening within several hundred miles of the GTA if the updater is not running. I have noticed that when active weather is overhead, there appears to be heavy traffic from Buffalo, or they are using the radar for more directed activities – updates from the NWS server can stretch out at these times).
Currency of web image may lag actual events by 2-20 minutes over present time, and should average about 7-12 minutes. Advanced Radar reported weather events are always historic, so if you see threatening weather indicated, remember that it has up to a 20 minute headstart on you seeing it on the screen, so don’t wait to take precautions if you are at risk. When in doubt, watch the sky, not the computer!