Archive for May, 2007|Monthly archive page

WeatherTalk

Sunday, June 3rd, at 3:30pm EDT, we are scheduled to have a conversation with Justin Berk and Tony Pann on WeatherTalk about why and how we made the site, and what the site hopefully will and can do for you.

WeatherTalk

If you’re in the Baltimore area you can tune in to WCBM. If you’re not, you can visit their website to stream the show live or download a podcast afterwards.

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On the air: follow-up

A quick update: our interview with Charlie Wilson of Internet Partnership Radio has been postponed. It will air during his Tuesday night program, “Center of Circulation”, which begins at 8:00pm EDT.

UPDATE:  IPR was still having difficulties with their servers on Tuesday night.  If all goes well, the segment will air during the first show of hurricane season–next Tuesday (June 5th) at 8:00pm EDT.

On the air

At 8:00pm, Saturday, May 26th, we’ll be on the air with Internet Partnership Radio.  You can tune in by visiting the site and clicking one of the four little icons under ‘Click to listen now!’.  We’ll be talking about Stormpulse in the context of the tail end of Hurricane Preparedness Week (May 20-26) and being prepared (hopefully with good information).

This should prove to be not only a good time of conversation, but also a good test of our server configuration.  We do ask for your patience ahead of time.  If we get really swamped, we’ll consider it an honor and a good workout for the season ahead!

Hurricane conference recap

Just wanted to write a short post letting you all know that we really enjoyed our time at the Governor’s Hurricane Conference.  To all those that stopped by, thank you for your interest and support.  We received a lot of great feedback and suggestions.  Some of them are definitely going to make their way to the site (more on that later).  Thanks for staying tuned.

Temporary outage, we’re back

As some of you already know, the site had a technical difficulty this morning, Friday, May 11th, that took it down for several hours. We’re sorry for any confusion or inconvenience this caused, and are happy to say that we’ve tracked down and fixed the root of the problem.

Thanks for your patience as our not-quite-yet-industrial-strength service matures.

Andrea drives a new release

Sometimes, when you think you have 3-weeks, you really have no time at all. So it was with the appearance of Andrea. Fortunately, we were at a point in our development where we could turn off the hose and put up what we have so far. This includes:

  • A current view for the 2007 hurricane season. For now, it just means that the cloud cover is current—updated every 3-6 hours, depending on availability, and that we’re keeping track of storms for the ’07 season. We made some updates to the Season Summary box to enhance the effect.
  • Wind probabilities. If you have the last plotpoint selected for a storm track, you can click a city name and a small window will appear with a chart, breaking down wind probabilities for that location over the next 5 days. In this screenshot, I’ve just clicked “Palm Beach” while plot point 5/5 is selected for Subtropical Storm Andrea:
    Wind probabilities displayed for Ft. Lauderdale, FL. as Ernesto approaches.

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  • Time of Next Update. This appears in multiple places, but most prominently at the top of the site, and in the storm details box (the bright blue one with all of the latest details on the storm). This answers the question of ‘when will we have new information?‘.
  • The first live appearance of our projected cone graphic. For Andrea, it’s just a big circle (in keeping with the official NHC graphic), but in the future it will be the familiar cone. When the cone is really a circle (as in Andrea’s case), we’ve only labeled date and time for the last forecast point (to avoid lots of overlapping). When it’s the more familiar cone, however, we’ll have each forecast labeled with date and time (screenshot). Our cone should always be identical to that published by the National Hurricane Center (NHC). If there’s ever a discrepancy (and it really should go without saying): go with the NHC.
  • Geographic labels for countries and bodies of water (oceans and large seas). We’re pretty sure the countries labeling is complete, at 228 nations, but we realize there are many more bodies of water (especially capes and gulfs) that we could and should label. For now, we are at least calling out important hurricane landmarks like the Cape Verde islands and the Gulf of Mexico. If a label looks out of place, could you let us know (stormpulse symbol-for-at gmail dot com), pretty please?

Okay, that’s all for now, fellow storm trackers. Back to working on what didn’t make the cut.

NOTE: We’re aware that there is some clumsiness in the wind probabilities charts right now such that when you click the little ‘X’ to dismiss them, the map can pan around unexpectedly. Sorry about that; we’re going to fix it ASAP.

“Current season” release preview

We have at least one more update planned before the start of the 2007 hurricane season. Here’s a brief line-up of the data we plan to integrate into the system:

  • Current cloud cover. By default, you’ll no longer be shown clouds from Isaac (the last storm of ’06) but will instead see a current view of the world’s cloud cover as it was 3-6 hours ago.
  • Sea, Lake, and Overland Surge from Hurricanes (SLOSH) model graphics. These experimental graphics help to answer the question: “How high will the water levels get in your coastal area?”
  • High-resolution satellite imagery from NASA’s Aqua and Terra MODIS satellites. We’ve intersected storm track data with NASA’s MODIS satellite gathering from the last 3 years. For example, here’s Ivan bearing down on the Florida panhandle. We will also be pulling this data in live as the season progresses.
  • Sea-Surface Temperatures and Anomalies. A module that lets you see current sea-surface temperatures as well as the latest anomalies map.
  • Better treatment of satellites, including storm floater satellites. Right now there’s not a great way to navigate our satellite imagery short of what’s available on the home page. We’re going to change that.

We have other things planned, but I’m going to save those for the release announcement. Just wanted you to know that we’re still coding away furiously, and these are some of the tasks keeping us busy.

Governor’s Hurricane Conference 2007

We’re going to have a booth (#1525) at the Governor’s Hurricane Conference 2007 in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida (May 14-18). The exhibit days are May 16th and 17th.

If you happen to be going, we’d love for you to stop by and see us!