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5. Garage and Yard > 67. Stop Watering During Rainstorms

Stop Watering During Rainstorms

Macintosh users can utilize weather information from the Internet to adjust lawn sprinkler schedules.

This hack demonstrates how Macintosh users can adjust their lawn and garden watering schedules based on current and forecasted weather conditions. It accomplishes this by using three AppleScripts. The first two scripts use the WeatherManX [Hack #64] application to track current and historical weather conditions with Indigo [Hack #16] . The third script is used within Indigo to schedule watering times. You’ll also need an X10-capable sprinkler controller, such as WGL & Associates’ Rain8 (http://www.wgldesigns.com/rain8.html; $100).

As you might imagine, anything dealing with the murky art of weather prediction can get somewhat complex. Even as full-featured as these scripts are, their effectiveness is limited by the timeliness and accuracy of your weather data. WeatherManX (http://www.afterten.com/products/weatherman/index.shtml; $10) makes it easy to download the hourly weather from your closest U.S. National Weather Service, but that information is less than perfect. It’s updated only once an hour, and if the closest station to you isn’t nearby, it might not give an accurate snapshot of the weather at your house. See the “Hacking the Hack” section for information about alternative approaches.


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