[Weather data engine] Handle windy conditions in NOAA backend
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Authored by ngraham on Tue, Oct 8, 2:31 AM.

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Summary

Right now windy conditions are not handled at all. I live in an area with very frequent
windy conditions especially during certain times of year so this is annoying because I
see the purple question mark icon a lot, which in the past has made me stop using the
weather widget.

This patch implements handling for windy + clear and cloudy conditions for NOAA. I
don't know how to implement this for Wettercom.

Depends on D24537

Test Plan

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After:

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ngraham created this revision.Tue, Oct 8, 2:31 AM
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ngraham requested review of this revision.Tue, Oct 8, 2:31 AM
kossebau added a comment.EditedWed, Oct 9, 2:22 PM

Disclaimer: nowhere a meteorologist myself, kitchen talk quality at best :)

I have to tell I have no idea how "wind" actually matches the category and what general cloud/sky conditions could be derived. Where I have lived, wind as in: fast moving air masses with resulting air turbulence near the ground has been happening with clear sky, cloudy sky, overcast & all kinds of precipitation or not. I cannot remember wind to have been the main weather property describing the overall condition, unless perhaps being a storm, which then usually implies very cloudy sky.
So for me wind always has been its own separate category, reported next to cloudiness and precipitation which both would be used to describe the main condition.

The proposed placeholder icon also would not have matched my immediate idea if someone said "a windy day" where I would have rather expected a mix of clouds and sun. Actually fog would rather be seen with no wind usually?

Do we have a definition what NOAA means when they talk about "windy day", so there is an idea what overall condition properties would be mapped onto this term instead of any of the others?

@spstarr You are into meteorology to a degree, no? What is your take on this?

Where I live (in the desert), we often have days that are very windy with no clouds or rain, especially in the springtime. On such days, the data engine always falls back to IonInterface::NotAvailable, which is not accurate; a forecast is available, but we're not handling it.

Since this new condition is at the end of the conditional, it won't be triggered unless it really is windy with no other conditions.

I agree that the proposed icon is not very good. I would be okay with delaying this until we have a real weather-wind icon if you would prefer.

Where I live (in the desert), we often have days that are very windy with no clouds or rain, especially in the springtime. On such days, the data engine always falls back to IonInterface::NotAvailable, which is not accurate; a forecast is available, but we're not handling it.

Not disputing that this should be handled.

Since this new condition is at the end of the conditional, it won't be triggered unless it really is windy with no other conditions.

Yes, still curious what this general condition description implies for the other conditions, as it also might affect the icon to be done, so what is iconic for "weather-wind".

Someone might do an icon showing fast-moving clouds, which would then not be matching the windy days as you described.

I agree that the proposed icon is not very good. I would be okay with delaying this until we have a real weather-wind icon if you would prefer.

Yes, I would first like to see a narrowing definition what the weather-wind icon should be about, as people living in different climatic zones might have totally diferent associations. I would have never thought about wind in deserts :)

So seems "wind" here could be meant as: moving airmasses also near ground, otherwise usual weather conditions in the given area/time of year, thus not mentioned?

To me it makes conceptual sense to display windiness when it's not including other severe weather conditions. In those cases, you care more about the other conditions than the fact that it's also windy. For example if the wind accompanies rain or a storm, the fact that it's windy is not very interesting; what you're focusing on is the fact that it's a storm! If there's a tornado, of course it's also windy... but what you need to be focusing on is the tornado! (this is also a condition we don't currently handle)

So I would probably favor showing a "windy" icon when it's only windy, or a "windy and cloudy" icon when the wind is accompanies by cloudiness as well.

Does that makes sense? I'm also not a meteorologist. :)

To me it makes conceptual sense to display windiness when it's not including other severe weather conditions. In those cases, you care more about the other conditions than the fact that it's also windy.

Different people care about different aspects, and different things are severe to them. Someone with a garden might not care about wind, but about precipitation. Someone driving a truck will care about wind, but not about rain or cloudyness. People commuting by bicycle will care for both. And so on.

For example if the wind accompanies rain or a storm, the fact that it's windy is not very interesting; what you're focusing on is the fact that it's a storm! If there's a tornado, of course it's also windy...
but what you need to be focusing on is the tornado! (this is also a condition we don't currently handle)

Yes, chance of tornado, sandstorms, glaze, etc, are something someone (tm) should care for one day. But...

So I would probably favor showing a "windy" icon when it's only windy, or a "windy and cloudy" icon when the wind is accompanies by cloudiness as well.

Sounds like you imply sunny with "windy" :) And cloudy is usually not a severe condition, unless one is out to watch the stars or pulling solar electricity, or? Sunny rather would be severe, e.g. putting human skin into danger.

So far I had considered the main condition icon to be a hint to a typical pattern of weather, roughly represented by the icon. And not being the place to also hint to chances of potential exteme conditions, that would be a separate thing (to be done).

And by what I understand the "it's windy" having not deeply researched things, it means here "as usual for this type of year here, so we will not explitily mention it, but additionally windy".

I'm not sure I really understand the proposal. As far as I'm aware, you're the maintainer, so I'll accept with your wishes. All I really care about is that my weather forecast stops looking like this all the time: :-)

No degree, but I have been following weather for years and on some mailing lists with meteorologists. 'Wind' can be a weather condition especially if its a dust storm. If NOAA lists it as a weather condition.

I think this is fine.

In Canada we do have Wind as an weather condition though usually its specific to winter, such as 'Blowing snow' as a condition.

spstarr accepted this revision.Thu, Oct 10, 1:39 AM
This revision is now accepted and ready to land.Thu, Oct 10, 1:39 AM

'breez' or breeze' just curious here

We do need another icon, Wind would be generic for Dust storm, or Blowing smoke, Blowing snow in this case.

'breez' or breeze' just curious here

That's to match both "breeze" and "breezy".

I'll wait to land this until we get a real weather-wind icon.

ngraham updated this revision to Diff 67639.Thu, Oct 10, 6:59 PM

Handle windy + cloudy conditions as well now that we have appropriate icons

ngraham updated this revision to Diff 67640.Thu, Oct 10, 7:01 PM

Remove old unused enum from the first revision

ngraham edited the summary of this revision. (Show Details)Thu, Oct 10, 7:04 PM
ngraham edited the test plan for this revision. (Show Details)

Still looks good to me

Thanks! I'll wait for the icon patch to land before landing this.

Now I'm wondering if I can get a blowing snow icon ;)

spstarr added a comment.EditedFri, Oct 11, 4:14 PM

I note for Environment Canada they have these

Day/Night Blowing snow (Blizzard): https://weather.gc.ca/weathericons/40.gif
Day/Night Blowing snow: https://weather.gc.ca/weathericons/25.gif
Day and night(?) windy: https://weather.gc.ca/weathericons/43.gif
Blowing smoke (day and night): https://weather.gc.ca/weathericons/45.gif
Blowing smoke and thunder: https://weather.gc.ca/weathericons/47.gif (Never seen this one probably not worth it)

Yeah there are windy and rainy conditions too. I expect we can handle those as well once we get appropriate icons.

When those land I'll have a PR for EnvCan provider/ion to support those too

Nice. The icons should go in today, after which I'll land this.

This revision was automatically updated to reflect the committed changes.