Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Changeability warning for rainy days

stops you popping out of the office <<sans brolly>>
  [vote for,

Some days, weather is very changeable, in the space of only minutes. For example, today I have just been out to get a cup of coffee, only two minutes walk from my building. When I looked out of the window it was sunny. By the time I was halfway to the coffee shop, there was a sudden hailstorm. I went in and got my coffee - came out into the sunshine, and it was just windy. By the time I was walking back into my building, a very light shower had started again..

this isn't just an English problem, this is applicable anywhere that gets low pressure systems

possible solution - a discreet warning beeper which sounds when I am leaving the office, displaying all the signs of popping outside temporarily (it's the middle of the day, carrying wallet and phone, but no bag or bike lock keys so obviously not going home); possibly including link to signs at my computer that I am going out, like change in IM status to 'be right back' or specific 'out to get coffee'. The system gets local information from network of users or weather stations, including wind directions, atmospheric pressure, precipitation nearby, and it judges the probability of a rainshower within the next ten minutes on the route between office and coffee bar. If this probability is significant, it beeps me and tells me to remember my umbrella. If not, it lets me go.

yes, this is a sledgehammer to crack a nut... but so what?! Of course I could just take my umbrella every time I leave the office, but that is unlikely.
sappho, Apr 26 2002

RainAware http://www.rainaware.com/
Mentioned in my anno. [notexactly, Jun 03 2016]

Dark Sky http://darksky.net/app/
Mentioned in my anno. [notexactly, Jun 03 2016]


       // ...it judges the probability of a rainshower within the next ten minutes on the route between office and coffee bar. //   

       You could never get that precise, unless the probability was extreme one way or the other. In North America, weather bureaus frequently issue the POP - probability of precipitation - with forecasts.
waugsqueke, Apr 26 2002

       I know - the weather forecast this morning told me there were going to be lots of showers, which is why I have the umbrella at all. But with local information from the couple of miles around my building, the track of small showers nearby could be mapped so that although it seems sunny, I would know that there was a bit of rain coming towards my coffee bar. I don't mean the entire day's probability of rain at one location predicted from the regional radar picture - but the observationally-judged likelihoods of small showers hitting my area of this city. OK, so it probably needs human input for these judgements..
sappho, Apr 26 2002

       Local doppler radar might help, though it's frequently time delayed beyond immediate usefulness. Also, doppler will show precip that isn't reaching the ground, so it won't always be accurate for your purposes.
waugsqueke, Apr 26 2002

       Given that not many phones currently are waterproof enough to handle a rain shower (my Sony Xperia is, but most aren’t), it might be achievable over a small synthetic local network (i.e., a big IP network that has been narrowed down to a small girth of area, by looking at like clustering of situationist information, which might mean something useful). If it can be ascertained that a lot of people have suddenly put their phones away and had to face the grey cold wetness of real life, and this cluster has directionality, maybe nearby nodes could be alerted that rain is just a few steps away.
Ian Tindale, May 14 2016

       // You could never get that precise //   

       It's now never. [links]   

       // For example, today I have just been out to get a cup of coffee, only two minutes walk from my building. //   

       There's your problem. If more minutes had left with you, they would have shielded you from the hail.
notexactly, Jun 03 2016


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