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New block – Summary/Almanach

New block is now available. This is one of the most sophisticated and complicated blocks. It is divided into several sections. The whole point of this block is to give a sort of daily summary/almanach of things, but not just using tables and graphs, but rather in a more ‘human way’ for those who prefer reading text.

The script takes data from the database, forecast from external source and also makes its own calculations to generate a word description of various things. This includes current values, forecast, information about lunar and solar eclipses, Moon phases, Sun and Moon rise and set, interesting days, such as days with some weather related world records, meteor showers, season changes etc.

It analyzes long-term data as well as current data. It will tell you for example what the temperatures were like today, what you can expect tomorrow based on long-term averages, it will summarize the forecast for the upcoming week and also provide lots of other information.

The script has algorithms that analyze the numerical data and their relationships and then generate a text. The algorithms also have several variants, which means it randomly chooses particular words and their synonyms so the generated text is always unique and calculated in real-time.

The info shown obviously depends on the particular day. Below are just some example strings generated by the block and screenshots. It will of course use the units and settings based on your config.php or user selection.

Some examples:

Today:Today is Friday, February 19, 2016. The Sun rises today at 06:55 and sets at 17:19, which means the day is 3 minutes longer than yesterday. Moon rise is at 14:11, set at 04:40. The current Moon illumination is 86.4% (Waxing gibbous).

Current:

It is currently 4.5°C with a SE wind blowing at 6.1 kmh and gusts of 9.7 kmh. The total rainfall amount since midnight is 11.4mm. The current pressure is 1016.3 hpa and rising slowly. The humidity is now 99 % and dew point and apparent temperature 4.4°C and 2.1°C respectively.

Forecast:

Tomorrow morning the forecasted weather condition is cloudy and temperatures around 1°C. Light breeze from west-northwest with a speed of around 7 kmh. Later in the morning tomorrow, the temperatures are going to go down by about 2° to -1°C. Light breeze from west with a speed of approximately 7 kmh. The temperatures in the afternoon are going to go up by about 8° to 7°C and cloudy. Gentle breeze from west-southwest with a speed of around 14 kmh. Tomorrow evening and night we expect rain and temperatures decrease to 5°. The precipitation amount should be approximately 1.1mm. Gentle breeze from southwest at roughly 13 kmh.

Station data:

So far the maximum temperature today has been 5.1°C and minimum 2.2°C, with an average of 3.8°C. This is 2.6°C less than yesterday, when the average was 6.3°C (max 8.3° and min 2.3°C). The long-term average for the station on this day is 2.7°C. Absolute maximum of 9.3°C was measured in 2015, while the absolute minimum in 2012 (-0.7°C). Therefore so far, today is 1.0° above the long-term average for 19th February. Overall monthly maximum temperature so far was 16.4°, measured on the 9th at 20:39. The minimum temperature for February 2016 is -1.4°, observed on the 12th at 07:19. February 2016 with an average temperature of 5.6 °C is currently 3.7°C above the long-term average for February (1.9°C). The maximum temperature ever recorded in February is 15.0°C and this was in 2012. In contrast, in 2012, the temperature dropped as low as -16.4°C.Both today and yesterday there was some rain observed. While yesterday there was a total of 17.7 mm, today it has been 11.4 mm so far since midnight. Since the 1st of this month, the cumulative rainfall is 55.2 mm. The maximum daily precipitation in February 2016 is 17.7 mm, measured on the 18th. In general, the average daily precipitation in February is 0.9 mm and overall February average total rainfall is 24.8 mm. Strongest wind gust today was 20.9 kmh, measured at 12:07. Yesterday it was 31.7 kmh. The average wind speed in February 2016 is currently 7.3, with average wind gust being 10.3 kmh, in general the long-term average for this month is 4.7 in case of the average wind speed, the average wind gust is 8.3 kmh. 19th February in particular then has an average wind speed of 3.7 kmh and gust 6.7 kmh (today’s average 8.1 kmh for wind speed and 11.6 kmh for wind gust, yesterday the average wind speed was 5.4 kmh and wind gust 7.6 kmh).

Tomorrow

Tomorrow, on Saturday February 20, 2016, the Sun will rise at 06:53 and set at 17:20, which means the day will be 4 minutes longer than today. Moon rise is tomorrow at 15:14 and set at 05:21. The average daily precipitation is 0.1 mm, absolute maximum being 0.3 mm (2013) and minimum 0.0 mm (2012; 2014; 2015).

Outlook

The upcoming Monday, February 22 at 19:20 will be a Full Moon. The long-term average temperature for next week is 4.1°C. The highest temperature ever measured during this week is 14.3°C (Feb 23, 2014 14:13) and the absolute minimum observed since the beginning of measurements has been -6.5°C (Feb 21, 2012 06:35; Feb 21, 2012 06:40). Highest apparent temperature recorded was as high as 12.1°C, on the other end of the scale the feels like temperature can drop down to even -9.9°C. The average daily precipitation is 1.0 mm, absolute maximum being 12.3 mm (Feb 24, 2013) and minimum 0.0 mm (Feb 20, 2012). Humidity throughout the following 7 days in general is on average 80.0% and dew point 0.6°C. Average wind speed for this period is 3.9 kmh with gusts of up to 31.7 kmh.

Moon phases

The upcoming Monday, February 22 at 19:20 will be a Full Moon.

Interesting days

On Jun 23, 1982, the temperature at the South Pole fell to -82.8°C (-117.0°F), which is currently the lowest ever recorded temperature there.

Eclipses

Tomorrow at 15:05 (14:05 UTC) will be a solar eclipse. It is a total eclipse, with a duration of 354s. The central path coordinates are 55N and 111W, azimuth 38° and altitude 44°.

Meteor showers

It is currently possible to watch the Leonid meteor showers, which can be observed from Nov 11 until Nov 12.

Season changes

Astronomical summer begins tomorrow at 4:02 AM.

Forecast strings are displayed for the upcoming week along with your station long-term averages for that week. The forecast strings use randomly chosen synonyms and are shuffled and also take into account their relationships so that the text is not boring and same all the time.

I will add new strings in the future and obviously not everything will be shown right now (for example you won´t see anything about eclipses, because there are none in the upcoming  7 days).

Installation is as with all the other blocks, all you have to do is specify your location in settings.php. Also, for some data the block caches the values, which means the first time you load it, it might take slightly longer to load. The cache is refreshed once a day.

Due to the fact there is so many possible scenarios it is possible that I made an error or something will not be working as it should. In such case let me know. Thanks

Something to enjoy over the upcoming weekend and maybe some of your users might even be tricked into thinking you actually write all this every day 🙂

Block update – Current Conditions

The Current block has been updated to version 2.2. This new version now also allows users of Meteobridge to display UV data on the homepage.

2 thoughts on “New block – Summary/Almanach

  1. Luc and that is exactly the point…

    I myself am a big fan of pictures, tables, stats, graphs… also notice I try to use icons as much as possible instead of text etc. But… as you said, others prefer different things and so for those this is something very interesting and for “us”, the visual stat freaks, we can do with our graphs, which are also in the template 😉

  2. This new block is very good looking and contain interesting details about the weather of one’s location.
    I respect the tremendous work which must have gone into the creation of this template.
    But I have to be realistic too. I remenber a saing from long ago: “One picture can tell more than a thousands words”. So I ask you, weather enthousiasts: how often do you read these summary pages (again) opposed to a quick glance at your recent weather graphs?
    Well, what is good for me doesn’t have to be good for you and vice versa!
    I think the creation of this block must have been great fun and I think that’s a legitime reason enough to make it!

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