October 2020 weather review

The review of the weather at Ferny Grove during October 2020 is now available.

During October 2020 overnight temperatures were close to average and daytime temperatures were above average. Overnight temperatures were near or below average in the first half of the month before warm nights during most of the second half of the month. The 22nd to 29th saw warm nights of up to 6 ºC above average. Daytime temperatures were above average throughout the month with some days that were cool.

Rainfall in October was above average with a total of 119.5 mm (185.4% of the long term average). The year to date rainfall remained above average at 11.5 % above the long term average. From the 19th was an active period of showers, rain and thunderstorms with some moderate to heavy falls. 14 mm of rainfall fell in 8 minutes on the 25th during a severe thunderstorm with marble size hail. On the 31st was 2 hours of thunder from 4 nearby thunderstorms with very little rainfall.

Long period rainfall totals remained well below average during most periods though improved for some periods. 6 monthly rainfall improved by 130 mm to 64.5 mm below average. 9 monthly rainfall remained above average at 97.2 mm above average while 12 month rainfall was 12.2 mm above average, improving from 58.6 mm below average in the previous month. Periods between 18 to 48-month remained below average and was as much as 624.9 mm below average for 36 month rainfall.

The summary containing the key information can be found here.

The full report of more detailed analysis is available here.

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Solar and air quality data

New data is now available on multiple pages to incorporate solar radiation, sunshine and air quality following the start of recording these parameters from 26 December 2020. These sensor were installed along with the change to using a Weatherlink Live receiving unit between 19 and 22 December 2020, which were then tested for compatibility with our processes and existing data.

The following pages have been updated with additional data:

  • The home page: the solar and air quality data have been added to the real time updates on the home page, sunshine/ night-time bands have been added to the real-time graph, the station forecast have been removed and a Bureau of Meteorology forecast added
  •  Gauges: A gauge for solar radiation was added
  •  Today and Yesterday: Averages, Totals and Extremes for Solar, Insolation, Sunshine and Air Quality added
  •  System Status: Reworked to align with the system changes and to provide additional system information now available with this change
  •  Glossary: Updated with additional terms of Air Quality, Insolation, Solar Radiation and Sunshine.

 A routine now runs at the start of each day to collate the air quality data into an additional daily database table used in the Historical graphs. The Realtime database table was altered to include air quality data. A monthly air quality database is also populated with data each 5 minutes.

A combination of our regular data updating on the website and these Realtime and Monthly database tables are used to update the tables and graphs on the website. The Realtime and Monthly database tables are also used as in the input to update the daily air quality database table.

Coming soon will be the addition of UV data. Also air quality data for the this month, this year and all-time records is also planned. Additional data will need to added to the daily database table in order to show that data along with the date and time of the occurrences.

Under progress is the calculation of daily potential evapotranspiration and possibly evaporation now that we are measuring solar radiation. Due to limitations with the system I am using it appears these will have to be calculated, rather than supplied by the weather station directly. These are rather complex multi-step calculations, so considerations are being made with the practicalities of that and what data will be shown from that on the website.

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September 2020 weather review

The review of the weather at Ferny Grove during September 2020 is now available.

During September 2020 overnight temperatures were above average and were the highest in 10 years. Similarly to August 2020, the month saw very few cool nights and many warm nights throughout the month. The 18th to 25th saw overnight temperatures peak at 9 ºC above average. Daytime temperatures were close to average and saw a mixture of above and below average temperatures.

Rainfall in September was below average but was close to the long term median, with a total of 14.2 mm (42.7% of the long term average). The long term rainfall for September is generally quite low, hence the close to median rainfall. While the rainfall total was quite low and continuation of the trend of low monthly rainfall totals, the year to date rainfall however remains above average at 9.8 % above the long term average and the highest since 2015. Low daily rainfall totals with light showers during some days during the month. A thunderstorm passed to the south on the 25th, as well as another thunderstorm to the north and brought a brief light shower.

Long period rainfall totals remained well below average during most periods while deteriorating further. 6 monthly rainfall fell significantly to 161.7 mm below average being more than 6 months since significant rainfall at the start of the year. 9 monthly rainfall was 79.4 mm above average while 12 to 48-month rainfall was between 72.4 mm below average for 12 month rainfall and 245.3 mm below average for 24 month rainfall.

The summary containing the key information can be found here.

The full report of more detailed analysis is available here.

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Website analytics

A new page is now available that has been in development lately of a different nature to the existing content on the website. We use the privacy friendly open source website analytics platform Matomo that is hosted on-premises where we fully own the data that allows us to understand the usage and interest in this service we provide.

This website analytics data have been used to determine whether there is a correlation between the visits are made to the website compared to amount of the rainfall at the time and to test whether visitor activity is stronger during wetter weather. From this it have been discovered that at this time that while a lot of visits are made when there is no rainfall, when expressed in percentage terms that there is a general trend in more interest in the website during wetter weather, whilst visits across the range of rainfall totals are very consistent.

This information of visits by rainfall have been published on the new page as four charts using this information calculated from our databases. In addition to this, more standard summarised data over time of the number of visits, the type of devices used and the visits made by returning and frequently returning visitors. On that page are explanations of the definitions relating to this data and also there are key metric for various periods to provide a quick summary.

Thank you to all those who have shown an interest in this website and the many who have come back to this website many times. I have been quite surprised at the strong visitor activity that has occurred and there is clearly an interest on local real-time weather data. This website is in continued development with completed new works announced on this blog in addition to updates to the website that are mentioned on our Website Info page.

The below information is provided to share how this page is put together at this time for anyone who want to have more understanding of this. Both the analytics data and weather data are stored in MySQL databases, which are both used to create four database tables containing the data for the four graphs for the visits by rainfall. These calculations use table joins and appropriate aggregations to produce the data to allow for a fair comparison. But because these are quite complex calculations the database queries are not executed when a graph is viewed as retrieving the current data will add significant time to load the graph.

So given that this data doesn’t change too quickly, a SQL procedure is executed once a month to update the data for when someone visits the page. The SQL code used in that procedure is similar to the below example. The methodology used is that a table is created to calculate the amount of rainfall in the previous 24 hours for each hour during the past year, of which this data is not readily available in the database. This is derived by first calculating the rain for each hour, then the cumulative rainfall during the last year for each hour and then calculate the amount of rainfall for each hour compared to the same time in the previous day.

Once we have that data then table joins are used to merge the analytics data to this rainfall data for each of the four tables. Finally at the end the rainfall data is deleted, as the data is no longer needed.

The other graphs that don’t compare the rainfall by visits use php scripts to run a query to retrieve the necessary information from the database and insert that data into arrays in a format that the Highcharts graphs can use. This is quite similar to the other graphs on the website. The Javascript code for the highcharts is heavily based on the graphs elsewhere on this website, which is accessible through viewing the page source code. From the Javascript code the code of the php scripts used as the data input can be accessed by appending a ?view=sce to the url.

The summary statistics at the top of the page uses data from a php script that contains a series of variables whose values are assigned from the result of SQL queries. That php script is used as an php include in the web page like this: include './utils/SQL-queries/analyticsData.php'; and the variables in that script are used within the table such as: <?php echo $visits7day ?>

Similarly a php script is used to return a variable for populating the update time for the visits by rainfall data. This is quite simple in that it returns the distinct updated_time field of the one of the database tables containing this data and the query is formatted in php to show the date in the required date format.

These are the SQL statements to calculate the summary statistics in the table:

And these are the SQL statements to return the data for the graphs excluding the visits by rainfall which while a php script also retrieves that data, those queries are very basic because the data is already pre-generated.

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August 2020 weather review

The review of the weather at Ferny Grove during August 2020 is now available.

In August 2020 overnight temperatures were above average and were the highest in 6 years. During the month there were very few cool nights and many warm nights that were as much as 5 ºC above average. Daytime temperatures were also above average but was the lowest in 4 years. Throughout the month daytime temperatures were above average with several warm periods occurring with temperatures of up to 5 ºC above average. Persistent overnight breezes and cloud cover during much of the month slowed the fall in the overnight temperatures.

Rainfall in August was below average but was close to the long term median, with a total of 14.8 mm (40.9% of the long term average). With the continuing trend of low monthly rainfall totals the year to date rainfall however remains above average at 12 % above the long term average and the highest since 2015. Some light rain with brief heavy falls in the afternoon on the 7th (12.2 mm of rainfall). The 15th saw some light rain at times early in the day with the passage of a front. Light showers on the 15th accompanied with gusty winds brought 1.4 mm.

Long period rainfall totals have remained well below average while deteriorating further. The shorter time spans remained above average. 6 monthly rainfall slipped significantly to 161.7 mm below average being more than 6 months since significant rainfall earlier in the year. 9 monthly rainfall was 79.4 mm above average while 12 to 48-month rainfall was between 72.4 mm below average for 12 month rainfall and 245.3 mm below average for 24 month rainfall.

The summary containing the key information can be found here.

The full report of more detailed analysis is available here.

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July 2020 weather review

The review of the weather at Ferny Grove during July 2020 is now available.

In July 2020 overnight temperatures were above average and were the highest in 4 years. During the month there were very few cool nights and many warm nights. The 21st to 28th was above average as much as 7 ºC above average. Daytime temperatures were close to average and in contrast to the overnight temperatures was the lowest in 4 years. Most of first 18 days of the month saw above average daytime temperatures. There were several cool days between the 21st and 25th associated with cloud coverage and rainfall. Persistent overnight breezes during much of the month slowed the fall in the temperature and prevented cold mornings from occurring.

July rainfall was below average, with a total of 50.4 mm (150.3% of the long term average). Even though most preceding months during autumn and winter observed below average rainfall totals the year to date rainfall however remains above average at 15.6 % above the long term average and the highest since 2015. On the 9th, 10th and 12th were light showers and drizzle with some light rain. Rainfall returned later in the month with further light rain at times and showers between the 24th and 26th as a result of a frontal system and the coastal trough that shifted southwards along the coastline. On the 26th the passage of gust front brought showers but with no measurable rainfall.

Long period rainfall totals remained well below average but improved a little for most periods. The shorter time spans have remained above average, given the significant or near average rainfall was experienced in February and March. 6 monthly rainfall remained above average but was below average for 9 monthly to 48 monthly, with the greatest being 18 monthly rainfall at 236.9 mm below average.

The summary containing the key information can be found here.

The full report of more detailed analysis is available here.

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New graphs

In the past month two new pages are available that show recent and historical data as charts for various parameters. This data is drawn from the weather station database each time one of these graphs are viewed. These new pages are:

  • Historic Graphs that shows the historical data for the various parameters summarised as daily, monthly and annually. This uses data from the entire station record of the past 9 to 11 years (depending on the parameter). Among these graphs is the plotting of the long term average for each month of the year, along with the highest and lowest measurement made.
  • Hourly Data Graphs shows the average value for each hour for the past 30 days compared to the long term average for the respective hour and month. Also plotted is a dashed line of the hourly average value. This allows to view the trends summarised as hour over time and see how the much the plotted data is above or below average (or close to average). This calculation is a little intensive, so the graph my take a little longer to load than the other graphs because all the sub-hourly data records over the entire station record need to retrieved from the database to determine the long term average which is then compared to the calculated average value for each hour.
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June 2020 weather review

The review of the weather at Ferny Grove during June 2020 is now available.

June 2020 saw above average overnight and daytime temperatures. A record warm morning was observed on the 14th that exceeded the previous record set 5 years ago. Most of first 18 days of the month saw above average daytime temperatures. Following the passage of a front there were cool nights between the 22nd and 26th, but was partially affected by persistent overnight breezes that slowed the falling in the temperature during much of these nights.

In June rainfall was slightly below average, with a total of 45.5 mm (73.5% of the long term average). This follows below average rainfall that occurred in the previous 2 months in autumn. Year to date rainfall however remains above average at 14 % above the long term average and the highest since 2015. During the middle of the month were showers with mostly light falls. A shower on the 14th brought brief heavy falls of 5.8 mm in 3 minutes. With the passage of the trough that preceded the cool nights later in the month were further light showers before some light showers returned at the end of the month.

Long period rainfall totals over the shorter time-spans improved slightly due to the near median rainfall in June but the longer time-spans have remained the same or deteriorated further given past months has seen below average rainfall totals. 6 monthly rainfall remained above average given the significant or near average rainfall was experienced in February and March. However 9 monthly to 48 monthly rainfall remain well below average with the greatest being 18 monthly rainfall at 285.5 mm below average.

The summary containing the key information can be found here.

The full report of more detailed analysis is available here.

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Autumn 2020 weather review

The review of the weather at Ferny Grove during autumn 2020 is now available.

Autumn 2020 brought close to average overnight temperatures, whilst daytime temperature were 1 ºC above average. The mean daytime temperature was very similar to autumn in 2019 while the overnight temperatures were nearly 1 ºC lower. The lowest overnight temperature during the season of 9 ºC was the highest on record for autumn. Between the 22 May and 24 May were cool to cold days that brought a record low daily maximum temperature of 16 ºC on the 23 May.

After close to average rainfall during March, the following months in April and May saw low rainfall totals. The rainfall total for May (12.1 mm) was the lowest since 2004, and 70 % of the rainfall in May occurred on the 21st due to the passage of the trough followed by a cold and dry air mass brought by a complex low pressure over southern Australia. The highest hourly rainfall total in March was a new record high when a severe thunderstorm on 6 March brought 40 mm in 30 minutes with very heavy rainfall. The total for the season was the lowest since 2016 with a total of 168 mm (52.3 % of the long term average).

By the end of the season long period rainfall totals fell with the low rainfall totals during much of the season. Anomalies from the long term average were in the negative for all periods between 9 and 48 months, with the lowest being 18 month rainfall being 368 mm below average. However, because significant rain was experienced at the start of the year 6 monthly rainfall is still above average (60.5 mm above average and in the highest 20% of records).

The summary containing the key information can be found here.

The full report of more detailed analysis is available here.

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May 2020 weather review

The review of the weather at Ferny Grove during May 2020 is now available.

May 2020 experienced near average overnight and daytime temperatures. Daytime temperatures were 1 ºC above average during the month until a number of cool to cold days between the 22nd and 24th reduced the mean maximum temperature to near average.

In May very little rainfall was observed during the month, with a total of 12.1 mm (12% of the long term average) and the lowest for May since 2004. 70 % of the rainfall occurred on the 21st due to the passage of the trough followed by a cold and dry air mass brought by a complex low pressure over southern Australia. Rainfall otherwise during the month was comprised of light showers with low daily rainfall totals, mostly in the middle of the month.

Long period rainfall totals also continued to reduce further in May followed continued below average rainfall during autumn. Anomalies from the long term average reduced further as a result with 9 monthly to 48 monthly below average, with the lowest being 18 month rainfall being 368 mm. But given that significant rainfall was experienced at the start of the year, 6 monthly rainfall is still above average (60.5 mm above average and in the highest 20% of records).

The summary containing the key information can be found here.

The full report of more detailed analysis is available here.

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