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Weather Websites: IEMbot

Want a rolling feed of National Weather Service warnings and watches for an area? Check out the IEMBot Monitor!

As we’re getting some actual weather in the Phoenix metro area this summer, I thought I’d share some of my online weather resources that I use to keep track of weather events.

My favorite site is the IEMBot Monitor. It’s run by the Iowa State University’s Iowa Environmental Mesonet program. But don’t worry: It’s not just for weather for Iowa! On the IEMBot Monitor, you can pick a National Weather Service local office and get a running list of weather watch or warning products issues for that particular area.

If you’re in Phoenix, you’ll want to select “[psrchat] Phoenix” from the Available Rooms picker and you’ll get a running list of the weather products

I should say at this point that this isn’t a substitute for getting severe weather alerts, just another tool to have in your tool belt.

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The Home Server

The past year has brought upheaval, but it’s given me a good space to rethink my computing portfolio. Join me on Fridays as I share discoveries and new things

Over this past year of COVID-19 lockdowns, I’ve taken the opportunity to re-conceptualize my personal (and business) IT portfolio. Prior to the pandemic, I was rather haphazard about things. Even though I espoused the benefits of having a master plan and having things fit into that plan, in practice for my personal IT estate at least, it was a different story. I focused on getting things stood up quickly rather than robustly. It worked, but it sometimes incurred a price.

Continue reading “The Home Server”

Sketching the future

One of the big projects I’ve been working on this year is a wholesale redesign and reconfiguration of my personal website.

A pen on top of a piece of paper sketching out the new iteration of this website

One of the big projects I’ve been working on this year is a wholesale redesign and reconfiguration of my personal website. This sketch is just a bit of the many sheets of 13×19 paper and many whiteboard sketches for what this site will become.

Behind the Weather Dashboard

The second COVID-19 vaccine knocked me out for a couple of days, so while I was recuperating from that, I created a Grafana dashboard with data from my weather station. The station is perched atop a building in midtown Phoenix. The dashboard is still quite a work in progress, but I’m pleased thus far with how it’s coming along.

For those who aren’t in the IT world, Grafana is a software platform that creates visual dashboards from various sources, including time series databases (TSDBs). TSDBs work by collating discrete metrics over time, and they’re usually found in the world of information technology. Instead of network I/O or CPU usage, the principle works for weather statistics: At this time, it was this temperature or the wind speed was that.

Continue reading “Behind the Weather Dashboard”

February 2021 Weather Almanac

With February 2021 now in the books, it’s time to rewind on the past twenty-eight days to see what weather we had in midtown Phoenix.

With February 2021 now in the books, it’s time to rewind on the past twenty-eight days to see what weather we had in midtown Phoenix. From the roof of a tower in Midtown Phoenix, here are the weather statistics from a dry and average month:

HIGH TEMPERATURES

  • Highest: 84.6º F / 29.2º C, February 2nd 3:59pm
  • Lowest: 63.3º F / 17.4º C, February 28th
  • High temperatures above 75º F / 23.9º C: 9 days
  • High temperatures above 80º F / 26.7º C: 4 days

LOW TEMPERATURES

  • Highest: 64.0º F / 17.8º C, February 3rd
  • Lowest: 43.5º F / 6.4º C, February 15th 6:51am
  • Low temperatures below 50º F / 10º C: 18 days

RAINFALL, WIND, and SUCH

  • Total February 2021 rainfall: 0.00 inches
  • Cumulative 2021 rainfall: 0.84 inches / 2.1 cm
  • Peak wind gust: 25.1 mph / 34.6 kph, February 15th 7:14pm

Please note that these data are not the official Phoenix weather statistics. The official Phoenix weather is taken at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport by the Phoenix office of the National Weather Service.

For all the latest weather from Midtown Phoenix, visit midtownweather.com.

August 2020 Weather Almanac

With August 2020 in the books, here’s a snapshot of the month in weather from a weather station perched in midtown Phoenix.

As many of you may know, I maintain (in conjunction with Tapestry on Central) a weather station on the rooftop of one of our buildings. Since the books have closed on August, here’s a look at the August 2020 weather statistics:

HIGH TEMPERATURES

  • HIGHEST: 118.4º F / 48.0º C (August 14 at 4:19pm)
  • LOWEST: 101.1º F / 38.4º C (August 31)
  • HIGH TEMPERATURES ABOVE 110º F / 43.3º C: 25 days (of 31)
  • HIGH TEMPERATURES ABOVE 112º F / 44.4º C: 19 days
  • HIGH TEMPERATURES ABOVE 115º F / 46.1º C: 8 days
  • AVERAGE HIGH TEMPERATURE: 112.2º F / 44.6º C

LOW TEMPERATURES

  • LOWEST: 76.5º F / 24.7º C (August 30 at 10:29pm)
  • HIGHEST: 92.7º F / 33.7º C (August 2)
  • LOW TEMPERATURES ABOVE 90º F / 32.2º C: 10 days
  • LOW TEMPERATURES BELOW 80º F / 26.7º C: 2 days
  • AVERAGE LOW TEMPERATURE: 87.3º F / 30.7º C

AVERAGE TEMPERATURES

  • AVERAGE HIGH TEMPERATURE: 112.2º F / 44.6º C
  • AVERAGE LOW TEMPERATURE: 87.3º F / 30.7º C
  • AVERAGE TEMPERATURE: 99.7º F / 37.6º C

RAINFALL, WIND, AND SUCH

  • TOTAL AUGUST RAINFALL: 0.04 inches / 1.02 mm (1 day of measurable rainfall)
  • DAYS WITH STORMS IN THE AREA: 8 days
  • SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNINGS ISSUED FOR MIDTOWN PHX: 2 (August 17 and 20)
  • PEAK WIND GUST: 42.1 mph / 67.8 kph (August 20)
  • AVERAGE WIND SPEED AND GUST: 2.4 mph gusting to 4.5 mph (3.9 kph – 7.2 kph)
  • AVERAGE WIND DIRECTION: from the WNW

NOTES FROM THE NOTEBOOK

  • Saturday August 1: Dew Point peaked at 71.4º F at 12:22pm, heat index was 121.9º F an hour later
  • Friday August 14: hot!
  • Sunday August 30: Lowest temp of 76.5º F was lowest temperature recorded since July 1

Please note that these data are not the official Phoenix weather statistics. The official Phoenix weather is taken at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport by the Phoenix office of the National Weather Service.

For all the latest weather from Midtown Phoenix, visit midtownweather.com.

Midtown Weather Live

Phoenix is set for another scorcher today, so in anticipation of that, here’s a live stream of the Midtown Phoenix weather station.

Phoenix is set for another scorcher today, so in anticipation of that, I’ve set up a live web stream of the console for the Midtown Phoenix weather station I maintain.

The sensor suite is perched atop a building in midtown Phoenix and the console receives that wireless signal for transmission out to the internet. You can see the data in real time at midtownweather.com.

Steele Indian School Park

In light of our collective cultural conversations about public space, midtown Phoenix’s Steele Indian School Park must be a part of it. Here’s why

When I prepared my midtown Phoenix history lecture last year, A Brief History of Midtown Phoenix, one of the things that I wanted to do was to learn more about the full history of the Phoenix Indian School, which most Phoenicians know only as a giant park in the middle of Phoenix with a dog park and where they launch fireworks on July 4. With a few exceptions, most contemporary history books of Phoenix and its urban history tend to gloss over the site.

I should mention that I don’t intend this to be the last word in scholarship on the site. There are many more people who have reported on the history of not only the Phoenix Indian School but the issues with Indian schools nationwide. The point of this essay is to contribute to a dialogue that should be had about the challenges that this site has, especially in the broader contexts of the urban Phoenix moment and the cultural conversations happening about how we memorialize our history and interact with public space. Continue reading “Steele Indian School Park”