Friday, May 10, 2013

Tweeting about local weather conditions

I am quite proud of my personal weather station and the fact that it automatically makes reports available through a dedicated page on the Weather Underground site. However, until recently I was embarrassed to admit that the weather station didn't have its own twitter feed. Yesterday, I rectified this situation and I can now boast to my fellow geeks that the station is Tweeting hourly weather reports as @LLweather which is a new Twitter account I created for the weather station. In fact it is one of a large network of private weather stations in Ireland tweeting weather reports with the #iwn hashtag - this should not be surprising because most Irish people are obsessed by weather.

Initially I tried to write a short python script to do the updates, but then I discovered that this feature was already supported by the PYWWS package that I was using to upload the data to Weather underground. There were even clear instructions available on how to configure the software on their web site (I had to upgrade to v12.10 to get it to work).

After I set it up I was surprised to notice that the weather station was apparently giving weather reports about 20-25 minutes into the future. When I investigated I found that the clock on my Tonido plug was running alarmingly fast. I tried to set up the NTP deamon to keep the clock synchronised, but this proved complicated because the plug is running a very old version of Ubuntu. I corrected the time manually and will keep an eye on it until I get around to configuring NTP properly.

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