New Version Information for the Weather Utility

Copyright: (c) 2006-2016 Jeremy Stanley <fungi@yuggoth.org>. Permission to use, copy, modify, and distribute this software is granted under terms provided in the LICENSE file distributed with this software.

Contents

2.3 Release

Fixed a regression in the correlate function which reintroduced the wrong (old) URLs for zone-specific data sources, and corrected the entries in the zones file accordingly.

2.2 Release

Fixed a bug where the setpath search order was effectively being reversed.

Updated correlation data is included based on newer 2015 Census data and 2016 NWS station and zone lists.

2.1 Release

The old http://weather.noaa.gov/pub site was deprecated and as of August 23 subsequently removed from service. Correlation data files have been updated to use the working http://tgftp.nws.noaa.gov URL instead.

Updated correlation data is included based on newer 2014 Census data.

The correlation data rebuilding process has been improved and more thoroughly documented.

Radian floats in correlation data are now truncated to 7 decimal places, significantly reducing rounding error fuzz against future data file updates.

The /etc/weather/weatherrc file mentioned in documentation is now properly read.

2.0 Release

The 2.0 release involves a major rewrite of the underlying code and addition of large volumes of previously-unneeded location correlation data. In the Spring of 2011 the USA NOAA/NWS made significant changes to the way they organized and published forecast data such that it could no longer be supported by design assumptions inherent within this utility. Attempts were made to preserve backward compatability with 1.x command-line usage and configuration file formats where possible, but some regressions are unfortunately unavoidable. The aurl, city, flines, furl, id, murl, st and zones options have been removed. Minimal logic was retained to recognize and continue supporting limited use of city, id and st in configuration files, though these are deprecated for eventual removal in a future release.

On a positive note, this provided an opportunity to design out some reported bugs and add in numerous requested features. Highlights include:

  • Because NOAA/NWS now treats forecast data in the same way as alerts, the alert reporting features are now much better integrated and no longer considered a beta test.
  • The lack of memorable alert/forecast zone coding in the new scheme drove development of intelligent search functionality, allowing users to find stations and zones through a variety of methods like place names, IATA/FAA/ICAO/FIPS/ZIP codes and even raw coordinates.
  • To reduce unnecessary load on NOAA/NWS servers, the utility now caches retrieved data for a configurable period of time.
  • Airport code lists are no longer maintained in configuration (though they are still easily overridden through configuration), and are instead now separately managed in a manner similar to the other pregenerated correlation data.

Worth noting, however, is that the new forecast data publication format (now essentially identical to the alert format) is all-caps freeform prose, and not easily parsed as a result. Due to the lengthy nature of this output, piping it through a pager is highly recommended.