Chessington Weather Station

Weatherstation/Website Development Log


24 Jan 2015 - New Timelapse Format
In a long overdue step, the Timelapse movies have been changed from Flash Movie format, to MP4, the relieves the need for a flash movie plug in, and uses HTML5 to render the movies. It also means they should play fine on most smart phones too. Enjoy!!
12 Nov 2013 - Long overdue update
So, its been a long time since I posted an update here. A few changes have taken place... Firstly, all the hardware has been replaced. Now running on an Asus NetPC, and Oregon WMRS200 weather station. Still trying to iron out some intermittent problems with the sensor reception dropouts, particularly on the wind sensor.

After a long outage, the webcames have also been re-enabled.... here's hoping for a snowy winter!!
16 Dec 2010 - Improved Webcam Reliability
The recent snow events have highlighted some reliability issues around the web-cams in high-demand situations. The web-cam updates have now been modified so that rather than serving the to the web from the WX server itself, the images are ftp'ed to the main web-server, and served directly from here.

By seperating the web-serving from the image generation, the system should be significantly more robust, particularly when under high load.

The one negative consequence of this is that the image refresh rate is now reduced to 30 seconds, however this will be better than the no-refreshes that were occuring previously!!

Major Hardware Outage
The recent lack of Data Updates to the website has been caused by a double disk failure in the main weather server. (So much for redundancy!). I am taking the opportunity to rebuild the system around a totally new PC so please bear with me, in the mean time, the main real time functionality at least is now working again.
28 Jun 2010 - Hot and Sunny...
The current spell of hot and sunny weather appears to be set to stay with us for a few days yet, at least here in the SE of England.

In terms of the website, after a long period with a defective Anemometer and Wind Direction sensor earlier in the year - requiring a new part to be shipped from Australia since Oregon UK no longer carry the necessary spares - all hardware and software systems appear to be operating normally now.

7 Jan 2010 - Snow, and a Frozen Anemometer!
Current snow accumulation here in Chessington is at about 8cm at the moment, with more forecast this afternoon, and possibly lots more over the weekend.

The weather station and website seems to be holding up pretty well with the massively increased traffic (over 1000 visitors yesterday). The only operational issue at the moment is that the Anemometer (Wind Speed Indicator) is frozen, so no wind speed/wind chill indications at present. This is unlikely to change any time soon as I for one am not going up on the roof to sort it!!

Hopefully you are enjoying the current weather, or at least not suffering too badly from it. Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!!!

18 Dec 2009 - Snow, and new Snow/Garden Cam!
Well, to be honest a slightly disappointing snowfall here in Chessington overnight. No more than an inch settled. But at least you can view it on the new Garden/Snow Cam.... enjoy!!

03 Dec 2009 - Outage - update
All website functionality has been restored and appears to be working normally again. Additionally, the outdoor temp/moisture sensor has been replaced, since this was giving faulty low Humidity/Dew Point readings. Fingers crossed that is it for now!!

13 Nov 2009 - Outage - update
The weather data feeds have been restored and appear to be working reliably. Hopefully the webcam and timelapse functionality will be restored this weekend, and be available by the 15th November.

11 Nov 2009 - Hardware Failure - System Outage.
A catastrophic hard disk failure has caused an outage of the server that provides the weather and webcam updates to this website. The server is currently being rebuilt, and should be back online by the 15th November at the latest. Apologies any inconvenience caused.

7 Aug 2009 - Added a guestbook, and UK Weathermaps.
Added a guestbook, first addition of ASP.Net to the site. Wonder how many people will sign it! Also added a page with links to the mapping data provided by www.meteorologica.info.

28 May 2009 - Satellite Imagery
Have just added a new page containing recent satellite imagery, sourced from the lovely people at Sat24.com, includes both Visible and IR spectrum looping images of the last few hours.

10 May 2009 - ISP Problems
My ISP (Hostway) has just recovered from a serious if significant problems, resulting in intermittent website functionality over the last 7 days. This allegedly all now resolved... fingers crossed!!

10 March 2009 - Network Woes
I have just gone through the somewhat painful process of upgrading my wifi network at home, which has meant the two webcams and associated time-lapse movies have been somewhat sporadic and intermittent over the last week or so. This is hopefully all resolved now and normal service is resumed...

23 February 2009 - New URL Live!!
From This morning, the site has gone live at the new location http://www.chessingtonweather.co.uk. I am in the process of requesting all the external links to be updated. This will now be the permanent location for this website, so please update any favourites you may have!

2 February 2009 - Snow Report!!
Snow started falling sporadically at about 19:00 last night. By 06:00 this morning there was 7 inches/177mm of snow lying on the ground, with more forecast!

24 December 2008
One last update before Christmas arrives!! The site now has a new URL available... http://www.ChessingtonWeather.co.uk. The old weather.thehartleys.org URL will continue to work for now, but if you are a regular visitor to the site, please start using the new address, as this will ultimately become the primary and only means of accessing the site!

Finally, as this will very definitely be my last update this side of the festive season...

HAPPY CHRISTMAS!!

19 December 2008
Installed replacement rain-bucket and transmitter today. (Excellent service from the guys at UK Weather Shop). So hopefully that should be the end of missed and spurious rainfall readings. Am looking at replacing the existing webcam hardware with Y-Cam units, have got one on order to arrive in January so will see how that goes!

15 December 2008
Grrr!! First real rainfall in this weekend, and the first real opportunity to test the new enlarged funnel on my rain gauge, and the rain sensor goes on the blink! Not sure if it is the sensor or the transmitter, but it has an intermittent fault for sure. Have ordered a new rain bucket and transmitter anyway, as they are both the last sensors to be replaced since the system was new, over 5 years ago now.

Also had a couple of difficulties on the PC running VWS/ImageSalsa/MovieSalsa, caused by a Microsoft Windows Update (What Else). After the update, the PC refused to connect to the Oregon base unit. Rolled back the patches, and all was fine again, but resulted in a couple of gaps in the Timelapse for Sunday, which was an interesting movie to begin with due to the fog.

For the record, according to my manual rain record, we had approximately 26mm of rain on Saturday... lovely, if your a duck!

10 December 2008
Added the timelapse movies for the East facing webcam today. Had an outage on ImageSalsa which harvests the webcam images for the timelapse movie this morning, which meant there is a gap in the time lapses this morning until about 9:45.

For the time being, the West Facing movie is updated every hour, on the hour, and the East facing movie every hour, on the half hour.

09 December 2008 - First entry!!
As this site is continuing to develop and evolve, I thought it might be interesting to add an occasional log of these developments. Today's latest development is the addition of this page (obviously!), and more interestingly, a Forecast page, which pulls in data from those nice guys at www.wunderground.com. The page is processed using a script from Saratoga-Weather.org. Many thanks both to both websites for their data and scripts.

Also ongoing is the addition of a timelapse movie for the East facing webcam. Hopefully this will arrive online later this week.

If you have any comments on the website, or ideas for further developments, please dont hesitate to email me: chris at thehartleys.org.