Clear Outside Weather Forecasts for Astronomers

3 Comments16 June 2014  |  Steve

"It is not the employer who pays the wages. 
Employers only handle the money. 
It is the customer who pays the wages."
  Henry Ford

First Light Optics is only one month away from her seventh birthday. With your support we have grown from a single person working from home to a team of seven operating from two units on a business park in Exeter. We literally could not have done this without you so we are hugely grateful. 
Earlier this year we began wondering how we can give something back to the community. We already sponsor the Stargazerslounge forum which benefits it's members and others searching for info. But many of our customers don't belong to SGL or any other forum. We considered emailing all our customers with a one-off discount code but that didn't feel right because it would benefit only those who were in a position to buy. Then Grant (Our IT Manager) came up with a really neat idea - a weather forecast site dedicated to astronomers.
There are of course other forecast sites available with an astronomy theme but often they use only a single freely available data source or, worse, simply scrape data from other sites. And they tend to be built on a budget so don't update frequently enough to be really useful or they provide limited information so you need to visit multiple sites to obtain a full picture.

We decided to build the best weather forecast site focused entirely on astronomy and to release it free of charge. 


Key Features: 

  • Hourly forecasts, updated hourly. 
  • Easy to understand traffic-light indicators with a drop-down menu for those wanting more information. 
  • Without giving too much away we use an aggregate of a number of weather models including the UK Met Office, the Norwegian Met Office and the American NOAA. 
  • To provide the most reliable up-to-date forecast and long-term stability we have invested in commercial weather data services and a dedicated infrastructure. 
  • Detailed Sun and Moon rise, set and meridian data are accurately modelled on your location. 
  • Similarly we have integrated ISS pass over times and other info modelled on your precise longitude and latitude. 

For more information please click the 'How to Use' button and take the tour. We have also included a 'Contact Us' page where you can make suggestions and leave feedback and a ‘Road Map’ page where we will detail upgrades and developments we are working on. 
Clear Outside is our gift to you the astronomy community for your support over the years. We hope you like it smiley
SteveG, Annette, James, Grant, Lisa, Martin & SteveB. 



Peter Sim
18 June 2014  |  11:00

Looking forward to it, cheers all!

Brendan Kinch
31 May 2016  |  15:32

Only found this today.....really like it.
It is now embedded in my web site :

Jerry Jones
28 July 2016  |  23:49

Greetings from Stillwater, mm USA!

First, thanks so much for clear outside. As the observing chair for one of the USA's larger amateur astronomy organizations (, having another tool for predicting weather is great! Secondly, I would like some information as to what and how you determine as high, middle, and low clouds. Thanks so much for the help!

Clear skies,

Jerry Jones,
Secretary & ALcor, Minnesota Astronomical Society