1. If we use:
..what happens when noaa is dead and meanwhile our page is hit hundreds
of times? Hundreds of processes on our machine ever so slowly timing
out, or does php handle this nicely?
2. Another thing to do is to run a cron job that every 15 minutes hits
the page, as in
0,15,30,45 * * * * lynx http://www.yourwxpage.com -dump -source 2>%1
but that of course does not solve the problem of what happens when the
noaa page is dead; it simply ensures we always have a recent update in
our database when the site IS up.