Why temperature readings in decimals is important

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  • Updated 2 months ago

By now it appears that the admin of the new WUnderground is
either unwilling or unable to accommodate their patrons in regards to the
display of decimal values for temperature recordings. No surprise there. Perhaps whomever it was within their team that was responsible for this compromise approach to the interface felt somehow justified that whole numbers alone are sufficient when displaying Celsius or Fahrenheit readings - even though this represents a compromise of the integrity of contributors’ weather data from their PWS.

The basis of this post is not to persuade the admin team that this approach is wrong because this is most likely a futile attempt but rather to remind the viewing public why this is so.

Part of the problem perhaps is the insistence of the US to resist the adoption of SI units (the metric system) like every other country in the World. Since the US clings to the archaic default method of measuring temperature in whole degrees Fahrenheit (this is still the accepted method of The National Weather Service) certain companies not mindful of the Global standard think that this is okay and even suppose that conversion to even cruder whole degrees Celsius readings are likewise acceptable. However, WMO guidelines proclaim that the resolution of automatic weather stations should be in 0.1 K (0.1 C) with an uncertainty of 0.2K. (0.1 deg Celsius ~ 0.2 deg Fahrenheit). The meteorological community worldwide recognizes that modern instrumentation is sufficient to display it as such which is why practically every National Meteorological Service in the World records official temperature in a resolution of 0.1 deg Celsius. Likewise, American users have become accustomed to their own weather stations and MesoNets displaying in tenths of degrees Fahrenheit since the manufacturers of even the most basic temperature-recording devices have set the precision of their instruments to this level.

To disregard the virtue of precision in the reporting of scientific data when it is conveniently available does the end-user a disservice and is an embarrassment to the supplier of this data.
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Patrick

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Posted 8 months ago

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Salonika

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It is not about being patient or not. It is about doing things properly and right. You cannot be (probably) the most important PWS website providing lots of services and meteorological stuff, and suddenly, throw all of it off the boat without the security of keeping your standards and not bothering all of the people that are, for free, giving you their data to support and feed your business.

A lot of people, me included, rely on this portal to see and check our data since a most of current PWS upload data here without the option of keeping it at our PC's. And all of a sudden, you change it all, lose most of your identity and leave your data providers without such a crucial thing as seeing the data just as it is, with decimals (not to talk about downloading your OWN information). It seems unbelievable that such a big company allows itself to do such a poor work. The fact that we are here discussing, 4 months after the change, of such an obvious thing in meteorology as the resolution of the data is pretty amazing. Updates in websites should always be towards a more clean, detailed, trustworthy and rich content, and this is just non-sense...

I hope we get everything fixed soon.
Regards from a spanish fellow.
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Roger Lewis

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I think they should've made all the changes and so-called updates to the website in BETA and ONLY released when EVERYTHING had been tested and completed... thus leaving us with at least a half functioning website.. in MY opinion, Wunderground has never been the same since they "updated" the website back in 2009-2010 or whenever it was.
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Ul KE

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@Salonika: Well explained and nothing to add on this. I have also written a lot of E-Mails in the meanwhile to address this problem, with no response! If there will not be a change within the next few days, I will discontinue providing my (very accurate data) to this weather service.

This is not that, what I expect from a professional weather site!

I am sorry to do that, but I am really, really pissed off right now about the current situation!
(Edited)
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Tim Roche, Official Rep

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Folks, this isn't a conspiracy, we're bringing decimals back. 
We haven't released it yet because we're doing thorough testing of the newer API, we've discovered a particularly tricky issue and are working to get it resolved.  Testing takes time. 
Please be civil to one another, one person has already been banned from this board for their comments towards other users, others are close.  
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Ul KE

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Many thanks for that info - hope it will change back to normal soon :-)
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Roger Lewis

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Speaking on behalf of ALL that is waiting for the decibel format to be reimplemented this is good news. however, please excuse MY skepticism....BUT....it probably will not be any time soon perhaps a year or 2 down the road..... OR longer.
(Edited)