Configure YAAC Weather Alerts

When using the YAAC weather alerts plugin, you can choose how various significant weather events are reported. Configuring weather alerts is done in two parts:

  1. the types of weather conditions to be detected and how they should be reported
  2. the weather stations that should be monitored for selected event conditions

There are presently four types of weather events that can be reported:

Detected events can be reported by any of several means. Note that you are not restricted to only one means of reporting; any or all means can be specified for any configured instance of a weather condition.

  1. doubling the reporting station icon size on all displayed maps.
  2. flashing purple arrows on the maps pointing at the station.
  3. (if the sounds plugin is installed and configured with a text-to-speech synthesizer) speaking a verbal sentence describing the weather event.
  4. (if the telemetry alarm plugin is installed and configured for email transmission) sending an email or SMS text message describing the weather event.
  5. sending an APRS text message to a specified callsign-SSID, describing the weather event.

The expert-mode Configuration dialog will have an additional tab (labeled "Weather Alerts") added to the core YAAC configuration tabs. This tab is broken into three sub-tabs:

  1. The "Alert Conditions" tab for defining the triggering conditions to be reported and how each will be reported. The buttons at the top of the sub-tab allow creating and deleting alert conditions, including automatically adding standard alert conditions as defined for the US National Weather Service's SKYWARN program observers. Below is a table listing all the currently defined alert conditions. By selecting a row in the table, you can modify the settings for any given condition or delete the condition.

    The parameters for event detection are the type of event, the threshold value over which the event will be considered detected, and the amount of time after an event occurs where repeated detection of the event will be considered a duplicate. Events can also be given names, so events of the same type but with different detection thresholds, duplicate timeouts, and reporting settings can be easily identified.

    The parameters for doubling icon size or flashing attention arrows are simple checkboxs. The box should be checked for the desired reporting mode.

    The parameter for verbal speech is a text string to feed to the Text-To-Speech synthesizer. Macros may be inserted into the string for variable substitution in the text in the syntax {macroname}. The available macros are:

    Macro nameMeaning
    CALLSIGNThe reporting station callsign in standard printed text format. Not recommended for speech, but useful for other reporting modes.
    PHONETIC_CALLSIGNThe reporting station callsign in ITU standard phonetics. Useful for speech, not really useful for text reporting modes.
    WEATHER_PARAMThe weather parameter being tested by the condition, such as wind speed or rainfall.
    CONDITION_NAMEThe descriptive text associated with the reporting condition.
    CONDITION_TYPEThe localized condition type name.
    THRESHOLDThe threshold value of the condition, rescaled into current configuration preferred units. May be blank if the condition doesn't have an editable threshold.
    VALUEThe actual value of the weather parameter that has violated the condition, rescaled into configuration preferred units.
    UNITSThe localized name of the units in which the THRESHOLD and VALUE macros will be displayed.
    LATITUDEThe latitude of the reporting station, spelled out for speech.
    LONGITUDEThe longitude of the reporting station, spelled out for speech.

    For example, the default speech text for the NWS wind gust default alert is:

    excessive wind gust of {VALUE} {UNITS} at station {PHONETIC_CALLSIGN} at {LATITUDE} {LONGITUDE}

    The parameters for sending email are one or more comma-separated email addresses to send to, a Subject: line (which can have macro substitution), and the plain text body of the email (which can also have macro substitution. Note that service with a valid email service provider must be correctly configured in the Telemetry Alarms plugin before this reporting method and the SMS reporting method will work.

    The parameters for sending SMS text messages are one or more comma-separated email addresses of cellphone subscriber numbers at the SMS or MMS gateways for their wireless carriers, and a line of text for the actual message (which can have macro substitution).

    The parameters for sending APRS text messages is a callsign-SSID of the desired receiving station, and a line of text for the actual message (which can have macro substitution). Note that APRS text messages are restricted to a maximum of 67 characters after macro expansion, so keep them short.

  2. The "Stations" sub-tab, which controls which alert conditions are associated with which specific station identifiers. The local station (whose data is captured directly from the local weather station interface) is handled separately from all other callsigns. Other station callsigns can be manually typed in, loaded from a text file (one callsign-SSID per line), or copied from YAAC's Health Monitor list (only stations configured for having their weather health monitored).

    The lists to the right are the types and names of all the currently defined alert conditions from the first sub-tab. They can be selected and unselected by clicking the list. Note you will need to use shift-click or control-click to select more than one alert condition for a given station. if you select a different station on the station list (lower-left of sub-tab), the lower-right condition list's selections will change to match those of that station, saving any changes made for the previously selected station.

  3. The "Areas" sub-tab, which controls geographical regions and their associated alert conditions. Areas are defined as axis-aligned bounding box rectangles with latitudes of their North and South, and longitudes of their West and East edges. Like stations, each area, when selected in the area table, shows the defined alert conditions selected for that area, and can have the selections changed by selecting and unselecting entries in the right-side list.