Saturday, August 22, 2009

Antipodean Astronomical Weather Forecasts and more

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Astronomers in North America have been fortunate to have Clear Sky Charts for weather forecasts available.  While astronomers elsewhere may have felt they've been left out there are a couple of services for them too.

Check out Ian Musgrave's at Astroblog's report about two clear sky like services called Skippy Sky and 7 timer (pronounced tri-timer) that provide weather forecasts for astronomers down under and beyond.
  • Skippy Sky provides visual representations of forecasts based on large regions including Austrailia, New Zealand, Europe, North America, the Canary Islands, and Cerro Tololo (Chile). 
  • 7timer provides parameterized Astroweather Panels or Apanels for many locations around the globe by name or by latitude and longitude.  Unlike Clear Sky Charts these are generated on the fly.
Both are based on a global numerical weather model known as GFS or Global Forescast System run by the  NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration) NCEP (National Centers for Environmental Prediction) program.  Incidentally, GFS data drives a number of weather forecasting services like Accuweather and The Weather Channel among others.

Clear Sky Charts use the more granular data available from Environment Canada and can provide data for more specific locations in the geography where they overlap.

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