For the past months, I have been working (with an associate) on the design of a new weather Web site, and we have been asking ourselves a similar question...
First, a bit of historic about my weather station and Web site might be appropriate. The data from my weather station was first uploaded on the Web (ie: full operation) in 2004, in the northwest USA, where I lived for 5 years; then, on the west coast of Vancouver Island (British Columbia, Canada), once I moved back to Canada in 2006.
Over the years, I have been extremely opened to the comments, ideas and suggestions made by regular users and visitors - that openness has allowed my site to grow, forcing me to develop scripts/templates to meet certain needs, such as providing specific data used by a few viticulturists (wine producers), an apiarist (beekeeper) and a rare plant grower - that specific data is not available/displayed on the Web site.
About 3-4 years ago, I was asked by the director of an elementary/primary school if I could do a few presentations of my weather station. Following those enjoyable and quite rewarding days, I expanded the site by adding weather term definitions - I know the information is still being used in the classroom as, just a few months ago, I received a 'thank you' card from one group of young students.
OK, back to the question: What is the purpose of a private weather Web site? My simple answer would be to provide weather information that is 'as up to date as possible
' and delivered that information in an 'as reliable as possible
With that question comes another question: Which weather information should a private weather Web site provide? The obvious answer is/should be to dispense in a clear, concise and reliable fashion solely the weather data captured by the weather station and processed by the weather software.
Should the weather data captured and processed by my weather software and then 'regurgitated' by some other weather Web site be displayed on my Web site? My answer is/will be not really, as that data is/will be be outdated by the time it is eventually processed and displayed on my Web site.
If an external weather Web site processes the data captured by my weather station to produce information that is complimentary to (and yet different from) the information already produced by my weather software, then I would add (display) that data on my site (such as the data produced by WeatherFlow's WindAlert
Sites that offer comparison with other local PWS and statistics of the data produced by my weather station/software (such as Citizen Weather Observer Program or CWOP) and sites that offer historical data (such as Weather Underground) have been added to my Web site, either displaying their data or through links to those specific pages.
In my views, the sole purpose of the private weather station and Web site is to broadcast, circulate, disseminate, and propagate the data capture by the weather station to the local surrounding areas - local to the weather station physical location - the data capture by my weather station is more likely of no use (or very limited use) to someone living in, for example, Montréal (Québec, Canada - a distance of more than 3700 Km east and about 500 Km south).
So, which pages are the regular users and visitors looking at? My home/main 'all in one
' weather page (by a proportion of almost 7 to 1).