Archive for April, 2007|Monthly archive page

April 25th: Our quiet launch date

We’ve launched. Of course, http://www.stormpulse.com has been accessible for months, but we’ve finally started sending the URL to those that we think would be most interested in what the site has to offer.

So, if you’re reading this, you’re probably one of those folks.

First of all, let me say thank you for visiting the site.

Second, let me assure you that all of your feedback and suggestions (and soon, participation) is very much appreciated as well . . . so keep it coming. In particular, when you visit the site, what do you feel is missing? What is awkward? What would you like to see? What’s *not* here that should be? While we do believe we can go overboard and try to cram every last piece of weather information on the web onto a single page, at this point we would rather err on the side of having too much (than too little).

So what does the site do now that it didn’t do before?

  1. Search box. The box accepts storm names and years, and nothing else. Soon it will start accepting city names, however (stay tuned).
  2. Data on similar storms. We’ve gone through and analyzed each and every storm on record and compared its path against the rest of the storms in the database to present you with a list of storms that have taken a similar path across the Earth.
  3. Other storms named ‘X’. We list all storms that have ever been called by a particular name. Yes, there has been more than one Katrina (although none so memorable…).
  4. View on map. If you’re using Firefox, you’ll see links in the Season Summary module that will let you zero-in on a storm in the mapping window. Click and watch the map pan and zoom to give you a better view.
  5. In-depth treatment of National Hurricane Center Messages. With this release we’ve made it possible to browse through the message archive of any storm. In fact, you can jump to the NHC Message Archive for any storm by entering a URL like this: http://www.stormpulse.com/message/200512/10/1, where ‘200512’ means the twelfth Tropical Depression of 2005 (Katrina), ’10’ is an internal code (yes, I know that’s bad, we’re working on making it more friendly!) meaning Forecast/Advisories, and ‘1’ is the advisory package number. From there you can browse the rest.
  6. Our cloud cover collection is finally complete (2002-2007).

That’s this release. What’s coming? We have a few things in mind, but what would you like to see?

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New release preview

Just wanted to provide a quick preview of some features that are headed to the site. They are:

  1. An improved active storm view. When a storm is active, you’ll see its latest details at the top-left-hand corner of the page, showing you 7 basic facts: latitude, longitude, wind speed, pressure, movement, category, and time of last update.
  2. Times in Eastern Daylight Time. When a storm is active and has a forecast ‘cone’, you’ll see human-readable dates and times listed next to points along the projected path. We’ve also enhanced the little navigation box in the map window to have times in the same format.
  3. More photos. We’ve added hundreds of links to our database to photos related to storms over the last 5 years. Almost all storms that have made landfall in the last 5 years will have photos available.
  4. Wind probabilities. When a storm is active, you’ll be able to click cities in the storm’s projected path and view a 5-day breakdown of the probabilities of hurricane-, tropical-storm-, and tropical-depression-force winds. This data is sourced from the National Hurricane Center ‘Wind Probabilities’ product.

Screenshots:

  • Improved active storm view: Projected path (cone) [thumbnail]
  • Wind probabilities:
    Wind probabilities [thumbnail]
  • More storm photos:Isabel photos.

Aside from these enhancements, we’ve got a few more things planned before the season begins. Let us know what you think!