Friday, March 18, 2011

cloud history

Terry initiated a conversation about cloud cover. He asked if anyone knew how many clear days Toronto averaged per year. He was feeling a little irked about his regularly cloudy days (nights) in Pittsburgh.

I pointed out that when a Clear Sky Chart is sponsored it offers the "Forecast History/Climate" link. It seemed that Toronto enjoyed 33% nights without cloud cover. Wow.

Stu, our closet meteorologist didn't know about the history link. He had been collecting data of his own to churn. He mentioned that while tables showed forecasted vs. observed values, they were good at illustrating trends.

Joe jumped in and reminded us that the CSCs are a reference but shouldn't be treated as the gospel. And then he made a very interesting remark, that Danko should be considered an Order of Canada candidate. Cool idea. A short time later, he sent links from Environment Canada's Weather Office site regarding historical and climate information.

Paul piped up and asked if the CSC "history" was based on "predicted" values. He crunched the numbers and came up with 120 perfectly clear nights. It did sound kinda crazy.

I missed Joe's second communiqué and asked in the thread if EC had historical data. Stu sent out a few more links. He had dug a bit deeper and found the products and services page, including the Climate Normals & Averages link with climate averages and extremes for Canadian locations with at least 15 years of data. Nice!

Stu said he's considering downloading the huge flat files to filter and process. He remarked it would be a good "winter project."

Curious that it is incredibly grey today. It's been looking like heavy rain or snow all day...

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