It's all about the light.

Skyfire: new forecasts available (and new coverage in beta)


The Skyfire team has been on a roll these past few months and we're happy to be able to share some of the fruits of all that hard work.

Today, Photo Ephemeris Web has been updated to version 3.1 with a number of additions for Skyfire Plus subscribers:

  • Global Forecast System (GFS): we've added the GFS model to our mix, with coverage for both Europe and North America.
  • Global Environmental Multiscale Model (GEM): this model also now powers a North America Skyfire forecast
  • Rapid Refresh (RAP): the RAP model covers North America providing hourly updates for today and tomorrow
  • Europe Confidence Map: the EU global ensemble forecast now includes both GFS and GEM (formerly it was only GEM), and the confidence map represents the level of agreement between the two models

With the additional data sources now available, we've been able to fine tune which forecast models contribute to which sunrise and sunset global ensemble models. Each source weather model has its own schedule for updates, its own interval pattern (e.g. hourly vs 3 hourly vs. 6 hourly), and its own time coverage window (e.g. the next 48 hours, the next 5 days, etc.).

As a result, for today and tomorrow forecasts (Days 0 and 1, as we refer to them internally) we're now using HRRR and RAP in North America, due to their hourly update frequency, plus a small weighted contribution from NAM.

For the subsequent days (2-4), we're using GFS for North America and a blend of GFS and GEM for Europe.

You can find the new forecasts in Photo Ephemeris Web from today.

Expanded Coverage: Alaska, Hawaii, Australia/NZ

Also available on our beta site today, new regional coverage areas. This is an exciting and long overdue development, made possible only by the new "cloud" (ho ho) platform architecture the team has been working on for the past couple of years. Here are some samples of the new regions:

Skyfire Hawaii Hawaii coverage - GFS, GEM, NAM

Skyfire Alaska Alaska Coverage - All Models

Skyfire Australia and New Zealand Australia/NZ Coverage - GFS, GEM

We'd love to get your feedback on these beta products - let us know how you find the new forecasts! All being well, these will go live in the new year.