YOUR Phone Can Help Improve OUR Forecasts!

Do you use an Android smartphone?  If so, would you consider helping out Pacific Northwest meteorologists by downloading a simple app?


It appears to be a strange request right?  But let me explain:

Cliff Mass (a professor at the University of Washington) has a project in which he’s trying to test the value of pressure observations from smartphones.  Their hypothesis is that a massive number of smartphone pressures could improve the initialization and forecasts of high-resolution numerical prediction models.  They want to use western Oregon/southwest Washington and the downstream regions (Gorge, Eastern Washington/Oregon) as a test area.  But they need to collect smartphone pressures.  To do so they have developed a powerful app for Android smartphones (uWx), which is available on the Google Play Store (   The web page for the new application is here:

In addition to collecting pressures, uWx provides wonderful forecasts, full resolution radar, and even accurate elevations for hiking.  So in exchange for providing that information you do get a nice little weather app as well.  Cliff tells me they really need observations from the Portland metro area and Columbia River Gorge.  So please help out if you can.

The app is not available for iOS (Apple) phones for now.

Cliff has done a blog posting about the project as well here:

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen


38 Responses to YOUR Phone Can Help Improve OUR Forecasts!

  1. Anonymous says:

    I live in Dallas and look forward to the weather down here in the valley and when the weather person doesn’t show what it’s going to be down here that’s disappointing.

  2. Shawna says:

    I thought if the storm was in the Pacific waters it was called a sunami, not a hurricane.
    Am I wrong?

    • Shawna says:

      Tsunami. I mispelled before. I thought a Pacific hurricane is a tsunami. Would they ever combine to make a bigger storm?

    • W7ENK says:

      Ehh, no.

      A tsunami is a massive ocean wave commonly (but not exclusively) generated by an earthquake centered under the ocean, usually because of vertical displacement along an underwater fault line.

      A hurricane is any tropical cyclone with sustained winds in excess of 74 mph in the Atlantic, or in the North Pacific to the East of the International Date Line. Comparable storms in the North Pacific on the West side of the International Date Line are called typhoons. South of the Equator in either the Pacific or in the Indian Ocean, they’re just called cyclones.

      Hurricanes, typhoons and cyclones: they’re all the same thing.

      Tsunami, not so much.

      And as for combining? I wouldn’t think so. I don’t believe that’s ever happened. I’d be more apt to believe that the two storms would be competing for the same energy source, and would end up ripping each other apart if two were ever to collide.

  3. W7ENK says:

    A sudden and unexpected swath of high, hazy clouds/filtered sun pretty much guarantees today’s high temperatures will fall short of expectations.

    It’s a shame, I was hoping to eke out one last 100°+ before Summer ends this Sunday…

  4. buffedman says:

    55-60% chance of La Niña during the fall and winter 2016



  5. Tyler Mode in Battle Ground says:

    A short flight just above the ground fog in Clark County.

    Watch in 4k.

  6. It appears that “the ides” of August are nearly upon us again: Rain is in the forecast for Sunday through Tuesday. I don’t think we’ll get as much as last year at this time, but we’ll see. We have a fair going on in our city at this time as well. If it gets rained out for a day or two, they are thinking of moving the date for the event to sometime in July.

  7. Joshua Downtown PDX says:

    67.8 at my place for a low. It almost feels tropical out right now. Mark, is it normal for the nights in downtown to be running about 5 degrees warmer than the airport? Seems extreme, but it is what I have been experiencing lately.

  8. W7ENK says:

    Slammy slammy…

    This, from an authoritative source at the NWS.

    This verifies what I’ve been saying for months.

    • Joshua Downtown PDX says:

      Yep. The ensembles have been in good agreement for a while that after this weekend we will have indefinitely below normal temps. I hope we get some rain soon. The vegetation is looking stressed. Lots of trees dropping leaves

  9. Tyler Mode in Battle Ground says:

    A short video from yesterday morning over Clark County…notice Mt. Hood on the far right, and the water condensing on the lens. Watch in HD.

    August 23rd, 2016

  10. WEATHERDAN says:

    Earlier this Summer Mark talked of a switch being turned off right after our early June heat wave. I submit that switch was turned back on about July 20th. Since then Salem has had 13 days over 90 and 3 over 100. And we have at least 2 more coming up on Thursday and Friday. This is our 4th heatwave in the last 5 weeks. In fact the only really stretch of below average temperatures we have had since June 1st was a stretch of 16 days from July 4th-19th. Just some things to ponder as Summer winds down. 8 more weeks from Saturday we can go to the OMSI Winter weather conference and think SNOW. In the meantime I will enjoy the last few weeks of another warm Summer. Peace.

    • 86F here for a high today. Looks like we have a chance to reach 90 tomorrow or Friday. After that, it’s unlikely as I’ve only seen it go to 90 or higher once in 41 years of observing Septembers.

    • Paul D says:

      I’d say that switch was turned back on as described.

    • Garron 1/3 of a mile from Hillsboro Airport says:

      I should’ve pondered opening the windows at midnight tonight. It is still a balmy 70-76 degrees outside! Beautiful night, but wow that is warm!!!

    • JJ78259 says:

      8 more weeks from Saturday it will be in the low 80s here in San Antonio. Won’t be thinking about snow. Beautiful weather upon us right now low 90s for the next month. May spike to the upper 90s for week but hey it’s weather Dan weather. Drove to Midland Odessa thru the hill country, last weeks rain made everything green again. My lawn looks like summer never happened lush and green amazing what 3 to 4 inches of rain will do in three days.

  11. WEATHERDAN says:

    Great weather to start the State Fair this week. When I was a kid it always seemed to rain a lot more during the fair than it does these days. Peace.

    • Dave in South Salem (500') says:

      ??? 98 is good fair weather? You can’t be serious. It rained through most of the fair last year too…so disagree with both of your points there.

    • Boring Oregon says:

      Did you submit your plant in the weed contest?

    • High Desert Mat says:

      I went last year on a Saturday. It seemed to rain on and off through the day and was a gray day in general. So when posting Dan, please make sure you’re correct on your posts, otherwise you just lose all credibility for future and past posts.

    • WEATHERDAN says:

      With the exception of the opening weekend last year’s state fair was dry and partly cloudy. Many fairs in my childhood were mainly wet. Mattie what is your major malfunction? Are you so stoned you have always to act like a jerk? As for Daves recollection here was a daily round up of the 2015 OSF. Fri 8/28 p.c 84/64, Sat 8/29 AM trw then p.c 75/65 .26, Sun 8 30 showers 73/58 .45, Mon 8/31 p.c 76/57, Tue 9/1 p.c 78/59, Wed 9/2 p.c 70/58, Thur 9/3 p.c 71/53, Fri 9/4 p.c 68/47, Sat 9/5 p.c 73/47, Sun 9/6 p.c 73/47, and Labor day Mon 9/7 am clouds then sunny 77/54. This fair might resemble 2015. Peace

  12. I downloaded this about a month ago after reading Cliff’s post. It’s not a bad app!

  13. Tyler Mode in Battle Ground says:

    48 in Battle Ground this morning. That’s one thing I don’t mind about late August heat, it only hits during mid day and quickly cools off at night.

    • runrain says:

      That’s a good point, Tyler. Also, the sun is at a lower angle, the shadows are longer, and the sun is down a bit earlier.

      Regarding the solar eclipse, I remember the 1979 event well. I watched it from Mountain Park in Lake Oswego and, even though it was a mostly cloudy day, still very cool to see it turn to night for a couple minutes. It confuses the heck out of the birds!

      I watched Mt. St. Helens erupt from the same spot a year later too. Quite a couple of natural events in such a short span of time.

    • Joshua Downtown PDX says:

      Not for me. It was 64 out when I got up at 5:00. I think I need to move to Sherwood or Battle Ground.

    • Paul D says:

      It’s been nice having the overnight lows below 60 the past few days, but it’ll be iffy the next few days with the heat wave.

    • Scooter says:

      I sleep out in the woods in a tent for most August nights, just something I like to do and for sure the last few mornings have been on the cool side and this coolness lasts a lot longer into the morning hours now, sure does have a fall like feel to them.

  14. Not available for my LG tablet. 😦

  15. Jane says:

    Sadly, my Android 4.4.2 doesn’t seem to support a fully functional app. The app says I don’t have a barometer. But I’m also seeing a some messages from users on Cliff’s page that this app drains battery power like crazy. I’m hoping they can work out the bugs, as I’d be glad to help!

  16. Paul D says:


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