Could you improve weather forecasting in Australia?

Comments

26 comments

  • Official comment
    Aeon Matrix

    Hi Martin,

    As long as they have open API, this should not be a problem. We will work on it.

    Best regards,
    Joseph

    Comment actions Permalink
  • Matthew Rumley

    Any update on this?
    Our weather station isn’t quite as off but the BOM data is by far the most reliable across Australia and with and accessible API this should be easily doable.

    1
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Aeon Matrix

    Hi Martin,

    Please also note that you will get more accurate weather data from an official weather station. Some people might choose a close by PWS which might give give less accurate data.

    Best regards,
    Joseph

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Martin P

    Hey Joseph,

    Thanks for the quick responses. I'd be excited to see if you can get BoM (or other) data and I am sure it will strengthen your product.

    Here is the link to Aeris for Sydney: https://wx.aerisweather.com/local/au/sydney - as you can see it's practically nonsense when compared to the BoM - http://www.bom.gov.au/nsw/forecasts/sydney.shtml

    It's raining as I type and Yardian still thinks there's a 2% chance of rain. The Bureau says 80%. It's weird that Aeris also thinks it's still Friday 4th Dec - it seems like such a simple problem but I wonder if it just gets confused by timezones.

    I am currently using a weather station with "100% integrity". My understanding was that weather stations would usually be used for observations (and calculating ET) rather than forecasting, right? Previously, and again just now, I changed to YSSY (Sydney airport, only 70ish% integrity, for some reason!) and got the same forecast.

    Happy to help you guys test anything out

    Cheers

    Martin

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Martin P

    Hi Joseph,

    Looking into the weather a bit more - the personal weather station data on pwsweather does give some forecast infomation. It is predicting 2.7 mm rain today, and 6.1 mm overnight. That's closer to the BoM forecast than Aeris, so even pulling that data would likely be an improvement.

    Martin

    PS: full disclosure: I'm likely to return the Yardian next week, since I don't want to be a paying tester, but am happy to help in the meantime.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Aeon Matrix

    Hi Martin,

    Thanks for the information!
    Once we integrate AU official weather sources, you will get the data immediately. This might take 2 weeks just an estimation. You can use scheduled program for now. It's a pity to see you go but we would be happy to see you back in the future.

    Best regards,
    Joseph

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Aeon Matrix

    Hi Martin,

    I would like to mention that our smart program is not based on forecast but the actual weather data.
    The "rain skip" feature is based on forecast though.
    We will use the BoM forecast for AU users.
    This will take some time for us to implement but I will keep you posted.

    Best Regards,
    Joseph

     

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Aeon Matrix

    Hi Martin,

    Our engineer explained to me yesterday. The Aeris is actually collecting AU official stations already. The reason why the "forecast" looks different is because of the data query time. Our purpose is only for the chance of rain skip so we only show the forecast "in the morning". However, the official data shows the "latest" forecast every time you visit the website. That's why it's different but it's totally not related to our calculation. Yardian is actually ready for AU weather.

    Best regards,
    Joseph

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Martin P

    Hi Joseph,

    Thanks for exploring this further.

    Your engineer is mistaken - the weather forecast is wrong and the rain skip feature doesn't work here in Australia; several times the device has watered despite forecast rain. 

    I can compare the in app forecast to reality at any time of day, and it is wrong. It's not related to the data query time vs the comparison time. Frankly it just seems like someone forgot that timezones exist. If I shift the whole forecast by a day, then it makes sense.

    Maybe this follows from your earlier comment - do you update the forecast in the morning US time? That would account for the apparent 1-day offset in the forecast.

    Just let me clarify again that I've compared the forecast in-app to online at several times, and it's always wrong. It also leads to erroneous operation of the rain skip feature (both false positive and false negative). If your engineer thinks that it works fine then they are mistaken - the ground truth is unambiguous.

    Good luck troubleshooting.

    On the topic of being ready for AU - could I suggest that you update the default seasonal adjustment to suit the Australian market, and also use sensible units of measure for irrigation rate and water volume (i.e. mm and litres)?

    Martin

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Sam M

    Hey Guys,

    I am also confused with the weather located in Canberra and it seemed to be a day out. Comparing the Yardian Weather forecast based on my selected weather station I see the following predications.

    (Also it would be handy to see percentage rain in the water schedule below with high and min temperatures. Atm it looks like it is raining all the time this week even though it is 3% change of rain)

    I second Martin's request to use the BOM for weather data. This is a highly regarded source of data and I would prefer this over any local weather station device.

     

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Aeon Matrix

    Hi Guys,

    We are checking our system now regarding the forecast issue.
    I will keep you posted.

    Regarding the "system of units", you could change to "metric" in the "Account Settings" page.
    Please click the Aeon Matrix company icon in the app.

    Best Regards,
    Joseph

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Aeon Matrix

    Hi Martin and Sam,

    We have found and fixed the issue due to a format change from Aeris.
    You should see the right forecast now.
    We will start to work on integrating BOM forecast in our system instead of using Aeris' forecast in AU.
    I will keep you posted.

    Best Regards,
    Joseph

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Tim Bush

    Hi Martin & Sam,

    I'm in Australia and considering buying one of these units - can you please confirm if the forecast functionality is working satisfactorily now?

    Thanks,
    Tim

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Aeon Matrix

    Hi Tim,

    The forecast is still based on Aeries Weather. We plan to switch to BOM by the end of March, 2021.

    Best regards,
    Joseph

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Tim Bush

    Hey Joseph,

    Just wondered if you could provide an update on how this is tracking please?

    Thanks,

    Tim

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Aeon Matrix

    Hi Tim,

    We are working on it right now and should be able to switch to BOM forecast in a week or two.

    Best regards,
    Joseph

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Tim Bush

    Hi Joseph,

    Has this been switched on now? Is there anyway I can access to check it’s working before I buy a Yardian unit?

    Thanks,
    Tim

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Aeon Matrix

    Hi Tim,

    Our team is still working on this project to incorporate BOM weather forecast to our system.
    I would like to clarify that our weather algorithm uses "real" weather data today to calculate watering schedules for tomorrow. There is no "forecast" involved in the calculation. Although there's a slight difference between BOM and AerisWeather forecast, it only affect "rain skip" feature that you can skip watering schedules based on the "chance of rain forecast".

    I will keep you posted on the progress. It should be available near the end of April.

    Best Regards,
    Joseph
     

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Aeon Matrix

    Update on the task - integrating BOM weather forecast:

    We have contacted BOM however we were told that there's no API available at this moment.
    We will wait until it's available.

    Please note that the Smart Watering algorithm is not affected by the BOM weather forecast because it's calculated based on the actual weather data, not the forecast. This only affects the "Skip by Chance of Rain" feature.

    Best regards,
    Joseph

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Andrew Olennick

    Hi Joseph,

    I am interested in purchasing a Yardian for use in Australia, but will need an accurate smart watering algorithm to ensure it complies with local water use restrictions.

    I see the above discussion regarding integrating BOM data. I can see on the BOM website that data is available in many formats, for both forecast and observation, including FTP and various APIs (including axf and json). http://www.bom.gov.au/catalogue/data-feeds.shtml

    With this now available, are you able to integrate BOM data into your product?

    Regards,

    Andrew.

     

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Aeon Matrix

    Hi Andrew,

    Thanks you for the information.
    We will definitely integrate the BOM data if APIs are available.
    Our team will look into it.

    I would like to clarify again that our weather algorithm uses "actual" weather data to calculate watering schedules. There is no "forecast" involved in the calculation. The only difference between BOM and AerisWeather data is the "forecast" and it only affect "rain skip" feature that you can skip watering schedules based on the "chance of rain".

    Best regards,
    Joseph

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Shane Phillips

    I am also considering this unit or the Rain Machine Pro and BOM data will be crucial. Please advise on the above?

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Aeon Matrix

    Last time we checked, the BOM has not provided official API yet.
    We just asked again.
    We are waiting for their reply.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Aeon Matrix

    Hi Andrew,

    Thanks for the information. Based on what we were told by the BOM, the data is not free.
    We do find some API provided by individual developers but we are not sure if this will be considered as unauthorized use of data. 

    Here are the new responses from BOM and AerisWeather:

    1. Official response from the BOM:
    Aeon Matrix: I would like to follow up and see if there is any update on the API availability.
    BOM: Unfortunately, I don't have any news that is different from the one I wrote to you on 30 July last year. Data via FTP is the only option that I can offer you at this stage and unlikely to change anytime soon.

    2. Official response from AerisWeather:
    Aeon Matrix: Does AerisWeather integrate the weather data and weather forecast from the Australia Bureau of Meteorology?
    AerisWeather: At this time we gather observation and forecast data from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology. We anticipate adding alerts from them in the future, but I cannot give a specific date at this time.

    Based on the these information, the current AerisWeather service has included the weather data and forecast from the BOM already. Our engineering team will double check again and make sure there's no discrepancy between AerisWeather and BOM data.

    Best regards,
    Joseph
     
    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Aeon Matrix

    When you choose your weather station, please select those with "AUS_" prefix.
    The "observation data" will be from the BOM.

    We do see discrepancy in "forecast data" and will report to AerisWeather to fix this.

    Please note that we do not use "forecast data" in our smart watering algorithm.
    This only affect the feature to skip watering based on "chance of rain".

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Aeon Matrix

    Regarding to the weather forecast, more specifically the chance of rain (pop),  AerisWeather replied that "The Australian BOM standard POP values are for a 24 hour period while AerisWeather's POP values are a bit more detailed at 3 hour periods". If we look at the BOM website and choose the "DETAILED 3-HOURLY FORECAST", the numbers are actually close.

    So here are the conclusions:
    1. AeriWeather does provide "observation data" from BOM weather stations. Please select those weather stations with the "AUS_" prefix for Australian customers.

    2. Aeon Matrix's Yardian controller uses "observation data" for smart watering algorithm. The forecast data is used as a feature to skip watering when the "chance of rain" is higher than a user specified value.

    3. The forecast data from AerisWeather and BOM are close if we compare detailed 3-hourly forecast".

    Please let us know if you have any questions :)

    0
    Comment actions Permalink

Please sign in to leave a comment.