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Naming of groups etc.

PostPosted: 2012 Jan 28, 18:00
by Martin Rowley
... I can understand the wish to 'section out' weather happening * now * from other events etc., but I'm finding the labelling of the groups confusing.

Assuming we want a group for short, sharp, relevant reports of a current event ... E.g., "cold front just passed through here .. gust 48 knots with 40 deg veer and 6 degC drop in temp ... " OR " snow began 2340UTC/28th, now (0700/29th) level accumulation 8 cm ... ", then this is simply a current weather report: the category "Weather Reports" would seem to be the right place for these .. rather than the (amended?) description as currently displayed. However, I suggest we amend significantly the current structure as below ...

We should have a specific group for developing climatology .. e.g., the current warmth of the winter so far, or the lack of numbers of days air frost etc. In other words, it's still 'current weather' but covering periods of weeks or months, not hours or days.

Finally, we need a group for 'historical' events .. Those that don't obviously form part of the current scene.

So, my suggestion is:

... Enter details of weather in progress (or in very recent past for significant events); be sure to clearly enter dates, times & locations with each report. It is permissible to enter data about significant events in the recent past (for example if you've come back from holiday and your AWS shows some startling data), but this should be appended to the appropriate date file so that anyone researching that date has all the data in one thread. Ideally, the first person posting on each (GMT/UTC) day sets up the date file in the format DDMMMYYYY.

... This group is for developing weather 'stories', such as prolonged drought, series of high daily temperatures, series of days with day maxima below zero, sequence of months with above-average temperatures etc. The subject should be 'event based' but with some mention of dating, thus: " January 2012 - fifth month in row warmer than average "
It is not for 'completed' climate events .. discussion of those events belong in the Historical Weather/Climate Discussion group.

This group is for discussion of all past events, whether long past or a few weeks ago, but which have no relevance to the current situation - these belong in 'Current/recent climatology'. The subject should clearly state the event or events under discussion and date if relevant e.g., " East coast flooding - synoptic patterns - 20th century records."


Re: Naming of groups etc.

PostPosted: 2012 Jan 29, 13:08
by Graham Easterling
I agree in that I find the current groups confusing. The trouble I have is that, as anyone who's seen my USW posts will know, my posts tend not to be specific to one group.

E.g. For today, I could say "The rainfall radar has recently been overstating rainfall over west Cornwall, in particular yesterday afternoon and overnight, when there was no rain reached the ground. This seems to be due to some undercutting of dry air, but also some false echos. There is an area just off the south of the Land's End peninsula prone to a false echo. I've done some checks on this and . .

You get the idea, I'm then likely to drift on to the future, or sea conditions, or a request for data on something. As a result I spend some time trying to decide the best category to put the post, then wonder what I can leave out to make it relavent to that category, then decide to post the way I originally wanted to on USW where there are no such problems.

Personally I think there are too many categories, it enforces unecessary restrictions. However, I rather suspect this might be a minority view.


Re: Naming of groups etc.

PostPosted: 2012 Jan 29, 16:21
by Martin Rowley
... Graham, I wholeheartedly agree! Although I've made the suggestion as to the splitting of categories, I prefer the newsgroup way of doing things whereby users/posters label a subject appropriately and people can either append additional posts or start something new. I'm already getting tired of switching groups to keep up to date - I prefer to simply run down a single list and 'eyeball' the threads I want to keep up with.

I think the idea of groups for the specifics of instruments, administration, suggestions etc., is probably OK, but I assume a decision was taken that some ordering of the forum was required for pure weather-related topics.

It will be down to users to give their thoughts ... as we've now had a major influx of new users, perhaps we can gather opinions?

The only problem with is the way it's been taken over by a few individuals to run their own personal 'blogs'. The original intention of the group was/is fine.


Re: Naming of groups etc.

PostPosted: 2012 Feb 02, 19:29
by Len Wood
Yep, there is still confusion between daily discussion and weather report groups.
Suggest Weather Reports is changed perhaps to Weather Events.
Or merge the two groups.

Also, would it be possible to put up a notice in these two groups for posters to put their location and altitiude?
This is not happening in all posts.

Suggest they go to User profile and enter their details in the location slot.

Job done . Don't even need a signature if using own name.

Re: Naming of groups etc.

PostPosted: 2012 Feb 03, 20:55
by Nick Gardner
PenzanceGraham wrote:Personally I think there are too many categories, it enforces unecessary restrictions. However, I rather suspect this might be a minority view

Graham, I agree that there are too many groups and this makes it rather complicated and inflexible when posting., for all its faults is successful, maybe helped due to it being very simple in layout and has no 'grouping' of subjects.
Whilst not advocating a 'one subject only' system, maybe we could group together the 'Daily discussion' and 'Weather Reports' into one group, and maybe even include 'Weather Forecasts'. And leave the rest as it is.

Re: Naming of groups etc.

PostPosted: 2012 Feb 03, 21:48
by Graham Easterling
That would certainly suit me Nick, and seems essentially to be the consistent view expressed in this topic.

I think people should be trusted & given the freedom to to use their own common sense in appropriately naming posts and appending to posts. I also think the suggested way of having one thread for daily reports is problematic. If you add a daily report and it's say 3rd in the '3rd Feb' thread, then later add an update, it may well be 6th & rather disconnected. Whilst you can go back & edit a post to add additional data (which I've done), the original time of posting is shown, which is misleading and does not indicate to others there has been an update. (Hope that makes sense, if it doesn't it demonstrates the unnecessary complexity!)

I think USW, for all it's faults, has evolved a simple more 'station' based system which works well and I totally agree with the last para of Martin's post.

Re: Naming of groups etc.

PostPosted: 2012 Feb 11, 16:53
by Admin
I set up the groups, as a result of the first few postings. I saw that there were often lots of comments on 'current weather' ie what is happening today, or even 'now'. Some of you would like to see these, for today, all together, either as one thread or as a set of threads all in one place and not mixed in with threads about behaviour of instruments, climate of your area, developing droughts and monthly means. This is why I created "Daily Discussion".

I agree precisely with Angus Tyner in the other thread, this is what I had in mind. This is also Martin's group a).

The term "weather reports" is evidently confusing, so it should be changed.

Graham's point about updating at a later time: The simplest solutions are: a) Edit it to say eg: ...."Updated on Feb 6: The temperature continued to fall all afternoon..." or b) Put another comment at the end of the SAME THREAD.

My proposal is this, which conforms with all the comments so far except those who want to have everything in one group:

1) A group entitled 'Daily Discussion', which would comprise a set of threads entitled 'Feb 15', 'Feb 16', 'Feb 17' etc, and NO OTHER THREADS. No need for the year, as these threads will either be destroyed or archived every 6 months or so. So if it is now Feb 17 and you have a current comment, add it to the existing thread 'Feb 17', or if it doesn't exist, create it. If you come back from holiday and have info for 15th, add it to the thread 'Feb 15'.

The purpose of this group for the reader is that he can open the thread for Feb 15 and read all the comments that have been made about Feb 15 without having to search between many other topics.

2) A group which is for 'Everything else to do with observed weather'. Currently this is called 'Weather Reports' but that term is too confusing in the context, we need a different snappy title. Anything which does not fit the pattern of being a report relating to a specific recent date, should go in this group. Graham's 'eg' would definitely be in this group. Maybe as we identify other distinct types of topics, as suggested by Martin's b) and c), we could create further groups for them.

From the viewpoint of the READER, I think this pattern will make the forum most easy to use. I think that many readers will log on to find out what has happened TODAY or YESTERDAY, and it will be clearest to them if such comments are not mixed with longer-term items.

Peter Wright, Edgmond.

Re: Naming of groups etc.

PostPosted: 2012 Feb 11, 20:15
by Peter Wright
Me again, with my personal hat on.

People have mentioned 'station-based systems'. I'm not familiar with USW in recent years, but I think I prefer the opposite. What I am most interested in is phenomenon-based or element-based, eg what area had frost and where was it coldest, where were there thunderstorms that day, what was the spatial pattern of rainfall. The COL Bulletin 'station notes' are by their nature station-based, but they are brief and gathered together, so you can read through them and get a feel for the spatial pattern of the mean temp, highest rainfall etc. When I look at the tables, I look down the page for who had fog, the date of the highest max, etc -- I never look at all the elements for a given station, it's too much to take in. I think this forum is an ideal opportunity for getting an overview of the country on an interesting day, when many people describe their values of whichever elements are important on this occasion. I am definitely not interested in seeing the whole ob for a station -- I just pick out the one or two elements that are of interest on that occasion.

Re: Naming of groups etc.

PostPosted: 2012 Feb 14, 19:45
by Len Wood
Still a bit confused here Peter.

Are the phenomenon-based posts to go in the Daily Discussion along with the station reports for that day?
Are you suggesting the Daily discussion should only have one thread per day, dated for that day?
I think phenomena on a particular day should be opened in a new thread.

Weather reports is definitely redundant unless it is changed to Weather phenomena.
Maybe it should be changed to Climate reports.

Re: Naming of groups etc.

PostPosted: 2012 Feb 14, 23:02
by Admin
Yes Len, you're just about on the same wavelength as me now!

I had not considered station reports in my analysis above. Personally, I don't find them very useful UNLESS they can be compared with other places in a tabular arrangement, and we don't have that facility yet. Nevertheless,
I observe that quite a few people are posting their full obs, all 16 or so elements, and they have coined the name: Current Conditions. That's great. I will now create a group called 'Current Conditions' for these station reports, which have no specific topics of discussion.

Then we have discussion of some phenomenon that is important that day, eg 'did you get rain or snow on that front, how much, was there a wind veer on it'., and to me this is one of the most interesting sections. What I like to do is read through all the comments of the day together. This is what I referred to as: 'Daily Discussion', and I think that's what you call 'Phenomenon-based posts'. These may have a few numbers included (eg rain amount, time it fell, time of wind veer), but they are distinct from the station full reports and should not be mixed with them.

Some people would like to see all posts of this type for a given day appear in one thread; that certainly makes it easier for the reader. But maybe you want to discuss another phenomenon of the day, eg lenticular clouds before the front. So rather than making a rule, let's say: In the Daily Discussion group, if there is a thread for today, add to it if sensible, but start a new thread for the same date if you feel it more appropriate. This group only has posts relating to today (and specific recent days).

There remains: Posts related to several days (eg length of a dry spell), comparisons of the week with last year, local peculiarities (eg location of sea breeze fronts, illustrated by a recent day). In other words, everything else. The group for these is currently called 'Weather reports', but clearly this name has proved confusing and we need a better. 'Climate' is an over-used word and may be right for some of these things, but not really for wet spells, heat waves etc. Shall we just say: 'Everything else on Weather or Climate' ? So, if you have a topic that spans several days, put it in this group. Maybe we will see fit to split these categories further, but not yet!

I will set these up in the next 24 hours.