Rain dashboard vs. reality

I’m not understanding the rain graphs in the Android or Browser interfaces. We got a ‘tiny’ amount of raindrops which the Sky read and reported. Here are the values as saved to influxdb via sniffing the UDP messages:

select timestamp, rain_accumulated from mqtt_consumer where time > now() - 2h AND rain_accumulated  > 0
name: mqtt_consumer
time                timestamp  rain_accumulated
----                ---------  ----------------
1536364448450813731 1536364446 0.004228
1536364508517083138 1536364506 0.000925
1536364568386799034 1536364566 0.000377

Presumably the data is mm, so we’re talking a fraction of a mm of rain calculated.

The web interface is confusing as anything depending on how you zoom…

59%20PM

48%20PM

The first one is just insanity. The second one just less so. In short - huh ?

(I could not figure out how to tag this post as a bug report in the interface for posting, but it’s clearly a bug or two).

Have you read this thread talking about the graph and it’s values ??

The blue bar represents the average hourly rate for the time period shown, while the green line represents the daily accumulation (since midnight in the local timezone). The left axis scale applies to both values, but you need to add “per hour” to the rate data. The time period that applies to the blue bar (rate) changes based on zoom level: 1 minute, 5 minute, 30 minute, 3 hour, 1 day. In general the further you zoom in the higher the individual rate values will be, since there is more averaging as you zoom out. Note that when you zoom all the way out, to the 1 day per time step graph, the blue bar (average rate) is not shown.

3 Likes

I made a post about this in another thread. The graph really needs changing. The blue columns are a waste of time without an actual figure. The y-axis is just for the line part of the graph - accumulations. If the columns actually represented a real figure, then a second y-axis should be implemented on the right side to show a proper rain rate figure.

Why don’t you make your own app ?? All the data is open to use.You can make your own graphs, screens to your needs.
Like Sam you could even make some $€ with it. :blush:

4 Likes

Why don’t you make your own app ??

I don’t really think that is the answer to give…

Logic says that the graph is counterintuitive. You have columns showing light, moderate, heavy, extreme and those columns go up or down depending on intensity, but without an actual figure, there’s no point in having them there. Either show an actual figure which corresponds to a right y-axis, or make a separate graph for them.
Recent posts show that many people are finding the rain graphs confusing, and i’m one of them, despite knowing what is going on.

2 Likes

I’m sorry. My chemical engineering degree and 35+ years in industry leaves me speechless.

  • In the first graph - I see a blue bar of 12 inches for what looks like a 10-minute period
  • In the second graph - I see a blue bar of 0.16 inches as the highest for a 1-minute period
  • the units on the left axis is ‘inches’ (a measurement) and not ‘inches/hour’ (a rate)

Now look at the table of the actual data that was measured…

  • the total accumulation of the three data points actually measured was 0.00553 mm which equals 0.0002177 inches. That would be 0.004354inches if it rained that hard for an hour.

  • the max rain in a minute was 0.004228 mm as actually measured. That’s 0.00016646 inches in a minute or 0.00999 inches in an hour, which would correspond to the max rate it could have calculated for an hour if it used the highest of the three data points

So how could the graphs possibly make the slightest sense no matter how you try to read them ?

The actual accumulation was under 0.002 inches unless the nuns taught me 4th grade math wrong many years ago…

2 Likes

I understand your points and agree with a lot of them.

However, as WeatherFlow has stated many times, the applications are designed for the lowest common consumer, which is NOT us. That’s also the reason WeatherFlow encourages the development of Third-Party applications.

I think that the rain graphs show the amount of rain as if it were to rain for an entire hour.

If it’s already complicated and confusing, then the lowest common consumer hasn’t got a cat in hell’s chance of figuring it out!

There should be specific FAQ info stating that the blue columns don’t correlate with the y-axis, and that they just show a word for rain intensity. Rain intensity is an instant measure, not an average over a period of time.

I really like this station, but some of the settings and output (barometric pressure settings / rainfall graphs) is absolutely baffling!

1 Like

I understand the magical changing display effect they present as you zoom in. I get the vertical bar for accumulation per period that is overlaid with a rolling total accumulation.

But make the units that are shown truth and make the values accurately reflect the data.

Contrast that with more simplistic yet obvious weewx displays…

52%20AM

05%20AM

Or even my lame attempt at showing it in grafana (rate = in/hour, accum = in)

42%20AM

2 Likes

The weewx display does look better, to me.

1 Like

Hi folks. Not sure how I missed this earlier but I just stumbled upon it. I think a big part of the issue is that we recently updated the blue bar and my statement from April 23rd is no longer accurate!

Prior to a recent app update, the y-axis indeed applied to both the blue bars (corresponding hourly rate for amount of rain collected in the time period shown) and the green line (daily accumulation).

However, as of about September 1, 2019 (depending on which app you’re using) the blue bar indicates the “descriptive” intensity of the rain (very light, light, moderate, heavy, very heavy, extreme).

What did we change the bars? Because so many people were confused by the “corresponding hourly rate for amount of rain collected in the time period shown” issue. The blue bars and green line now match what’s shown on the main UI: daily accumulation and relative rain intensity.

Of course, there is no perfect way to display rate, since it’s all relative. For some fun with rates, see this discussion about speed limits.

PS: Remember, the Smart Weather apps are purposely simple (aimed at the average user), but our data is wide open and as complicated as you want to make it. There are a bunch of third party app, many of which probably do a much better job of displaying the more detailed rate data. And (as @eric notes), you can always write your own!

PPS: We reserve the right to change the blue bars in the future!

5 Likes

I realize this topic has aged, but given the non-conformity way it’s being handled I had to go through all of the conversations in several topics before I ended up here.

It would be helpful to have this “descriptive intensity presentation” using blue bars clearly spelled out in the FAQ to avoid having to search around.

And here we go again with a final outburst…

Data in a coordinate system are usually represented by point, lines and/or bars (with a few more rare varieties as well).

Using bars to represent an arbitrary categorization of intensity values is misleading by being non-standardized in nature, which clearly must confuse the stated target group of average users (arbitrary since there is no distinction between low and high-intensity rainfall regions of the planet).

Cheers!

1 Like