Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Is this the official weather website for Abbotsford?
A: No. The official site can be found here.
Q: Are you affiliated with Environment Canada?
Q: Is this a business?
A: No. The site makes no profit of any kind.
Q: Are you a meteorologist?
A: No, but I have been trained in making weather observations.
Q: Why are you using Environment Canada's forecast on your site?
A: I don't consider myself a forecaster, nor do I have time to create my own forecasts. Environment Canada's forecasts are free for non-profit use.
Q: In the Twitter feed, you always cite the records and averages for Abbotsford Airport. Why not use your own records?
A: The Abbotsford Airport has a much longer period of record (going back to 1944). Normals are calculated over a 30 year period. My earliest records only date back to late 2004.
Q: What's the point of looking at this site when Environment Canada offers the same thing?
A: That depends on what you are looking for. I personally find the Environment Canada site to be not detailed enough, and updated too infrequently (only once per hour). Furthermore, the Environment Canada observations are taken at Abbotsford Airport, which may not offer the best representation of the weather conditions in a typical residential neighbourhood. Finally, this station is located 5 km east of the airport, and the weather conditions at any given time may vary considerably over such a distance.
Q: I noticed that your high/low temperature for yesterday was a degree warmer/colder than Environment Canada's. How could there be that much of a difference over such a short distance (5 km)?
A: Temperature is affected by a variety of factors including but not limited to: cloudcover, wind speed/direction, position of fronts, and occurrence of precipitation. A difference of one or two degrees is very common and no cause for concern. The Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley area is known for its "microclimates" in which large differences in temperature may occur over very short distances.
Q: It's snowing, but the summary on the front page only shows "cloudy" (or some variation thereof). Is something wrong?
A: The weather station cannot actually determine whether snow is falling, so it relies on reports from the airport, which may be different from local conditions. There may also be a delay of up to an hour before the condition is updated. For these reasons, it's best to refer to the web cam in snowfall situations.
Q: How is snow measured? Why can't I view today's snow?
A: Snow is measured manually with a ruler (on a flat white painted piece of plywood) and input into the computer whenever I have the opportunity to do so. Generally speaking, only snow that has actually accumulated is counted, so wet snow that melts on contact is not included in the total. Similarly, trace amounts are not measured, nor are they reflected as "days with snow". Occasionally, snow may accumulate and some melting will occur before I have an opportunity to take a measurement. At my discretion, I may estimate (via water content, or reliable sources) what I believe to be the actual accumulation before any melting occurred. I'm usually quite diligent about measuring, so this is the exception rather than the rule, and I will not "inflate" snow amounts beyond what I reasonable believe actually accumulated.
Q: It's raining, but your station is reporting dry conditions. Why?
A: The most common cause of this issue is the rain gauge being blocked by ice, snow, leaves, or some other foreign obstruction. The rain gauge also cannot report rainfall when the temperature is below freezing (ie, freezing rain). This issue will normally resolve itself shortly after the temperature rises above freezing.
Q: The summary picture on the front page doesn't match the text beside it. Why?
A: There appeared to be a conflict within the program. I think I've resolved this issue, but will continue to monitor the situation.
Q: Will you add [new feature] to the site?
A: You may suggest new features, but they will be added at my discretion. It may be difficult or impossible to add certain features for technical and financial reasons.
Q: What is the basic geography in the immediate area of the station?
A: The station is 58 meters above sea level. The surrounding area is mainly flat with residential housing. There are slight hills to the east and west. The best exposure is from the southeast to southwest, and northwest to north.
Q: I think I found some data that is inaccurate/missing. Will you fix it?
A: Please note that some of the earliest data is incomplete. There was no humidity or dewpoint data recorded in August or September of 2004. The station was completely offline from September 25th to October 25th, 2004. There was an intermittent problem with the rain gauge from November 7th to December 1st, 2007. If you notice anything else, please let me know. Most problems are software-related and can be fixed easily.
Q: I find this site very useful. Can I make a monetary donation?
A: I am looking to accept donations, but would like all transactions to be anonymous. PayPal does not currently support anonymous donations. I have yet to find a suitable alternative. However, if you use Bitcoins, you may send a donation to the following address: 1DJ6KTseXzsdwge1RpFw4yUSqbQjKiS7oG
Q: Can I ask another question that is not covered on this page?
A: Sure. Please use the contact link at the bottom of the page.