Weather Page Updates
It has been about a year since I reported on the L-36.com Marine Weather page. There have been many improvements to the page in that time that I want to share. The page has been well received and has hundreds of users. I thought it would be useful to point out some of the improvements for those of you who have not tried it recently. Also, it has been expanded to cover the entire US from Alaska to and plus a few other US territories.
The >Weather page is a single web page that is easily set up and will show you weather forecasts, observations, tides, and more all on that one page. It is designed for sailors but has non-sailor users as well. All the reports are based on the specific location entered in the simple setup process. The sections are.
1) 7 day forecast including typical weatherforecast data plus a graph of the wind, gusts, and direction on an hourly basis. I am using a faster service which is showing greatly improved load times. These are localized forecast customized to your location with about 1/2 mile resolution.
2) Marine Zone Forecast for two or optionally three zones. Default is the closest zone and the corresponding area synopsis. All zones have been updated with the April 3 changes.
3) Area Discussion. This is the weatherman talking weather-speak about what is going on with the forecast. There is now an acronym feature so that you can hover over most acronyms and see a pop-up definition.
4) Buoy and Data reporting stations for all nearby locations. Optional Ships Reports can be included. Note: "Nearby" can be edited to any desired distance.
5) Table of 3 day history for closest (or selected) PORTS station.
6) Airport (City) Reports. Reports are now given for all nearby airports in table form rather than just a single city. Again, "nearby" can be edited to any distance.
7) Table of 3 day history for closest (or selected) Airport (city).
8) Tide tables and graph for closest tide station. Optionally, this can be a real time report for a selectable location.
9) Second tide table and graph typically the closest current station.
10) Weather Map
11) Area Satellite Map
12) Local Satellite Map
13) Three Wind Forecasts maps of the area for different times. Algorithm for selecting times has been improved.
14) Weather Radar.
1) Faster load times. I am now gathering most of the data in the background so that it is on the local server when you load the page. This has greatly improved the page load time. Typical load times I am seeing are 2 seconds for a new location and under 1 second if the location has been loaded recently, such as when you are editing a section or switching from 7 day to hourly forecasts.
2) Easier setup. This can now be done in one of three ways 1) Enter location in text (City and State, zip code, or tide station) 2) Much improved Map Click (with geolocation if available) 3) Pick from the many hundreds of locations other users have selected sorted by state or distance from your last location.
3) Once the main program is setup, all the other weather applications on L-36.com will use that as their starting locations so that you are not required to set each program separately. The other applications are more specific such as AIS, Local Wind Map, MADIS reports, and a couple of other.
4) Improved error handling.
5) More consistent formatting across sections for easier reading.
6) Most sections have underlined text that can be clicked to see a map showing the location of a reporting station, or a link to the source of the data. Many more links have been added over the last few months.
Most of the improvements on the page are the result of requests from users. I appreciate all the positive feedback I have gotten and I also appreciate the suggestions for making the page better.
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