December 24

The Weather App

This year I have been working on a smart phone app that uses GPS location to predict how likely it is to rain in the next few minutes at that location. I had to put it on hold for a few months but I’ve been able to work on it again over the last few weeks and now have an alpha web version that you can check out (alpha version is tech speak for ‘I’m too embarrassed by the number of bugs to show anyone but you can probably see what I’m trying to do’).

At the moment I have predictions for Melbourne and Mt Gambier which you can access from the link below:

To interpret the predictions you read them just like the Bureau of Meteorology radar images except that they predict what will happen in the future.  The page cycles through 12 images: the first two images show the actual rain as indicated by the BOM radar and the remaining images are the predictions in 6 minute intervals up to an hour ahead.  The time for the prediction is displayed at the top.  Unfortunately the predictions won’t update automatically when new data comes in you will need to manually refresh the web page (one of those alpha version things). The darker the display, the higher probability of rain: it doesn’t predict the heaviness of the rain at the moment though.   You can click on the pause button to stop the animation and fix on a single prediction.

There is also a difficult to read graph at the bottom which predicts the probability of rain at an exact location (not your GPS location just yet).  To set the location click on the location of interest in the main display.  At this precise time of writing this feature is not working but that will probably change in a few hours because it is working on my development site.  Another alpha version warning: you will need to scroll to the top of the web page for the location to correctly register.

I’ll add more locations over the next few days and I’m expecting to make quite a few changes over the next week or so.  Check out the link and let me know any suggestions or problems you have (  Always access the link from this blog ( because I will be making a lot of changes and could even completely change the web location, but I’ll publish any changes here.  The predictions update every 6 minutes when new data comes in from the Bureau but don’t be surprised if you get old predictions because my web server is not happy doing the number crunching.  I’ll relieve it of it’s duties when I get a chance (alpha version again, ah the list of bugs is never ending).