I have a couple of Raspberry Pi computers sitting around, and given the recent situation I figured I ought to at least use one for something. I thought I would have a go at some kind of passive information display, and discovered these ultra-widescreen displays which look pretty cool.
At the same time, I’ve been noticing a few limitations in my usual weather app at this changeable time of year. For example, when a daily forecast says “lows of 0°C”, should I expect the frosty night to be the previous one or the following one? And with “90% chance of rain”, is that all day, or just starting at 10pm when I don’t really care? When trying to protect frost-intolerant plants, or just get the laundry dry, not knowing is quite annoying.
Bringing these together, I remembered the concept of a Meteogram—probably the nerdiest way to represent a weather forecast, but a handy method of visualisation that meets my needs and brings both hardware and software sides of this project together.
You can see the source code here.
A Meteogram image showing temperature, precipitation and wind speed for five days
My current plan is to output the Meteogram as a static image, and use a utility such as
feh to render it on the screen. This very basic approach should mean it can be run without issues on an original Raspberry Pi B, of which I have several lying around, rather than needing my spare Pi 4 which would probably be required for a more interactive display.
Once I reach the point of buying and setting up the hardware for the project, I’ll add this as a “proper” page on the site, but for now I’ll just update the blog if I make any major changes to how the project is planned to work.