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Chapala weather going away (sad)

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Chapala weather going away (sad)

Post by Zedinmexico on Sat Oct 07, 2017 7:32 am

CHAPALAWEATHER - 10/7/2007 to 10/7/2017
Yes, today is the 10 year anniversary for ChapalaWeather. It was Sunday the 7th we uploaded our first readings after arriving at Riberas. We've had our ups and downs, our fun and sadness. Max and I want to extend our sincere appreciation for allowing us to provide this simple weather site for your consideration these many years, we hope you have had as much enjoyment from it as we have in providing it. It's been a labor of love, even during the early days of poor equipment, worse
connections from ISP's and intermittent power from the CFE.
Since 2/2013 we have had nearly 7 million visits from 142 countries.
We never imagined serving more than a small local group of fellow travelers.

It is now with reluctance that we announce this is the final day for ChapalaWeather October 7, 2017. Later today will be our final posting, tomorrow we slip from being a daily presence to just a memory
- this chapter ends - and the page is turned -
Again, thank you all for inviting us to share these past years, it was a great adventure.

adiós mis amigos
Steve & Max the WeatherCat
(Somewhere in Texas, the road goes on forever and the party never ends!)

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Re: Chapala weather going away (sad)

Post by WillieRae on Sat Oct 07, 2017 7:56 am

Thanks for all your efforts!! Happy trails!

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Re: Chapala weather going away (sad)

Post by juanrey on Sat Oct 07, 2017 8:38 am

Steve your site is going to be missed.
Thank you for all you have done over the years, I have personally enjoyed your site for over 7 years and it is one of my favorites.
I wish you weren't taking it down, but after 10 years, I'm sure you are ready.
Again, thank you for all you have done, it hasn't been easy, but your work has been very much appreciated Surte
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Re: Chapala weather going away (sad)

Post by Intercasa on Sat Oct 07, 2017 9:50 am

Id love to take it over if possible, a great community resource.
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Re: Chapala weather going away (sad)

Post by hickton on Sat Oct 07, 2017 9:58 am

Hope that can happen spencer.

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Re: Chapala weather going away (sad)

Post by jrm30655 on Sat Oct 07, 2017 10:04 am

I had breakfast with Pete Johanson and Pete is just devastated that the weather station is closing. We pointed out to Pete that he could just look outside and see what the weather is at any time. Pete brightened right up...

When I was in the Air Force, I found out the difference in forecasts and weather.

We flew from Atlanta to Columbus , MS one day. The forecast was for 'severe clear'.

We get to Columbus and there is low clouds and light rain. I'm down at 200' trying to find a runway to land on, bitching.

A Colonel explained it all "Captain, forecasts are on paper, weather is on the other side of the windshield".




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Re: Chapala weather going away (sad)

Post by PoCo2012 on Sat Oct 07, 2017 10:26 am

Thank you for your ten years...we open the site every day. It is not only a site for local weather, but for the handy links to the lake level and a variety of weather issues all over the world.
We sincerely hope there can be someone who will take it over or start something comparable.
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Re: Chapala weather going away (sad)

Post by CanuckBob on Sat Oct 07, 2017 10:33 am

Yes, a great resource that will be missed. Thanks Steve. In the meantime on our drop down menu we have links to the weather, the lake level, exchange rates, local maps and local news, etc.

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Re: Chapala weather going away (sad)

Post by bimini6 on Sat Oct 07, 2017 12:38 pm

Thank you and blessings in your journey's.

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Re: Chapala weather going away (sad)

Post by David on Sat Oct 07, 2017 1:44 pm

Intercasa wrote:Id love to take it over if possible, a great community resource.  

Please contact Steve Brown the owner via his post above. It would be great if you could take it on.
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Re: Chapala weather going away (sad)

Post by CanuckBob on Sat Oct 07, 2017 1:53 pm

The OP is from Zed......not Steve.

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Re: Chapala weather going away (sad)

Post by kipissippi on Sat Oct 07, 2017 1:55 pm

Hey Steve!  How come?

Kip
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Re: Chapala weather going away (sad)

Post by Oldshoe on Sat Oct 07, 2017 4:34 pm

Intercasa wrote:Id love to take it over if possible, a great community resource.  
I sent you a PM with Steve's email.  Let me know if you don't get it.

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Re: Chapala weather going away (sad)

Post by David on Sat Oct 07, 2017 5:05 pm

Well done!
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Re: Chapala weather going away (sad)

Post by gobluejohn on Sat Oct 07, 2017 6:46 pm

gonna miss you, one of my first visits every morning good luck going forward
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Re: Chapala weather going away (sad)

Post by Intercasa on Sun Oct 08, 2017 3:55 pm

I sent him an email, I could easily put it on my building to keep everyone informed of the weather and pay for the web site, shame to not have the resource
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Re: Chapala weather going away (sad)

Post by Lady Otter Latté on Sun Oct 08, 2017 4:09 pm

There seems to be more to it than most of us realize. Steve posted this on TOB.

"I've not talked to Spencer yet, but here is, in part, what I will tell him, and anyone interested in doing it the way I did it to produce the results you clicked on each time you want to check conditions.

You start with some basic$, the Davis Vantage Pro 2 wireless weather station is $500 (min), add the solar sensor and mount, +$160. Add a dedicated laptop PC $500 running WIN 7 or 8.1 (I don't do WIN10 - ever). Next, some minor costs and serious considerations about where and how to mount the station. Add a webcam $200. As you see ChapalaWeather today it's a $1,300 equipment investment plus 3 pieces of software. The weather software is VWS, only $70. I use the CUTEFTP program, again, inexpensive. But, the program to create the templates you see when you click on Chapalaweather is a whole other world. The station is currently running on FrontPage 2000, yes, a 17 year old program that I've used for over 17 years, so I know it inside and out and the templates have evolved over 11 years. You've probably noticed they don't change much, there's a good reason, you change and you get a delivery from the great warehouse of unintended consequences, so again years of experience knowing how they work and most importantly - how to fix problems when they don't work, just as in VWS and CuteFTP. The intent was to convert to DreamWeaver, but it never happened. So, do you want to immerse yourself in a non-supported MS program? - that's a serious commitment.

The VWS software is pretty stable, even on WIN8.1, but not perfect, so let's run through a day assuming everything is up and running: Each day for 10 years the absolute first thing I look at is the weather site, whether I'm in Chapala, Buchanan Dam, Denver, NE, CA, Matehula or any other hotel along the way. I first focus on "Days Since Rain" and if it's =0 then I know it's rained since midnight and I need to upload the rain background to the site for the day. Next I manually update the number of days it's rained this year (most of the data on the page is automatic, some is not). I open the Rainy Days Calendar and enter ^vxv121^" in that days square and change the color to blue. This entire template is mostly manual and created at the beginning of each year, then preserved in the archive. That "tag" only records rain for that 24 hours, so tomorrow I need to enter the actual amount deleting the tag ^vxv121^ and of course, upload the copper background.

Next I look at the wind to see if it's either spiked off the graph, or if set at a high value from the day before needs to have the range reset. The graphs could be set to "auto range" but not with two values like speed and gust on the same graph. Oh, PS: don't try making changes during an update cycle happening 6 times an hour, so be aware of the time and how long you will be changing values or you'll jam the template and the FTP will show "no upload".

Of course I glance and the "Last Updated" block at the top of the page to make sure VWS is running and the FTP is properly uploading, if not I begin trouble shooting. I also copy a new flower to upload each day when the webcam ends at dark. Now, if everything is working, I can have my coffee and start my real day. And, this checkin routine happens several times a day and the last thing at night before the lights go out 365 days a year.

Currently there are 7,720 files making up the VWS folder. Probably at least 100 are graphics, so let's just say there are at least 6,000 files making up ChapalaWeather. Many are archives but many more are not, if a problem happens for whatever reason, then you start with the main db which is a huge spreadsheet over 55 columns wide and a new line added every 10 minutes, so at the moment, it's about 18MB and over 40,000 lines long - yes, depending on the problem at times you have to go in and do "surgery". There are also "Yearly, Monthly, Daily" .bin files which interact, sometimes it's necessary, if a problem happens (like a seed in the rain gauge causing bad readings) you have to go in and correct the db because among other things, it creates all the graphs you see.

At the end of each month I manually update rain amounts, averages etc at the bottom of the page. At 11:50PM New Years Eve (yes, I do) I am at the PC and download the complete VWS directory to preserve the last files created for the year. In the new year you do house cleaning of db's and files to control growth. New templates for the New Year are created - and of course there are the graphics for holidays, flag backgrounds and any special events to be recognized are done manually. The HURRICANE SEASON block is manually updated requiring a check with the national weather bureau for threatening storms. Of course week days we check, sometimes many times a day, for CEA Lake Level changes to manually enter.

Of course you'll need a domain, web host and site to upload data to on an ongoing basis (add that to the co$t column)

These are many of the main things done on a daily basis etc. So, you want to the the "WeatherGuy"? - when I said it was a "labor of love" I wasn't being facetious you can't justify it as anything less."
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Re: Chapala weather going away (sad)

Post by Intercasa on Sun Oct 08, 2017 8:03 pm

Money isnt an issue as this is a good public service and hardware upgrades and a new CPU box with 12GB ram could help, I do have the location but not unlimited time so if I supply the goods who can help with their time?
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Re: Chapala weather going away (sad)

Post by CanuckBob on Sun Oct 08, 2017 8:47 pm

There are quite a few weather apps and weather websites already out there. Tomorrows forecast......... Sunny with cloudy periods and a chance of rain. Same thing for the next 2 or 3 weeks. Then sunny for 6 months and repeat.

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Re: Chapala weather going away (sad)

Post by RickS on Sun Oct 08, 2017 10:59 pm

Many of you/us have thanked Steve for providing the weather site, but..... if we had known how manpower intense it was to keep it up and running we would probably be asking ourselves 'why' would he do it, and saying...
wow Steve, we can see why you have stepped aside

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Very Very Appreciative

Post by escapetoajijic on Mon Oct 09, 2017 7:36 am

chapalaweather.net has been an excellent source of information regarding the Lake Chapala local weather. In addition, I have frequently accessed it to view the National Hurricane Center forecasts. What a wonderful service! Thanks and best of good fortune to you.

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