Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Gonna be a long couple of days

There's nothing better for those of us in the weather business than a long-term event. Hurricanes are the most profitable, with large winter storms being a fairly distant second when it comes to exposure for risk and consumer products. It's a function of media hype factor + size of geographic area + populated areas affected.   

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Another wintry weekend in Oklahoma

Face it, it's gonna be a crappy weekend. No, you don't need to stock up on bread and milk and you won't need to buy fuel for the generator. Expect an inch or so of snow in central OK with a little more accumulation in the west and southwest parts of the state, let's say 3". The eastern part of the state will see some flurries but nothing too impressive. Snow will start early tomorrow in the western part of the state and trek east. Mixed precip will occur Saturday and Sunday. No doubt this will be one of those Netflix weekends.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Hope you're ready for a wintry week in Oklahoma!

Beginning Sunday afternoon, chances for snow increase and remain until Monday afternoon. Some areas will see 2-3" (see map). Again on Thursday another opportunity for accumulating snow is in the forecast. No snow total information is solid enough to mention quite yet but I'll update when it is.
Temps will be in the 30's all week with exception of Wednesday when most in the state will see daytime highs in the 40's.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Snow in the northern Colorado Rockies

Snow is terrible this season therefore I'm not skiing. Absolutely no powder worth being on. Forecast calls for 6-12" tonight. We'll see how that actually turns out.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Arctic air will finally arrive in Oklahoma

Nice weather has kept cabin fever and the dreary days of winter to a minimum - so far. Generally here in Oklahoma we pay dearly for nice weather and unfortunately payment is made with currency in the form of crappy weather.

This period will be no different with arctic air invading the state on Saturday evening and sticking around until the following weekend. Looking through the models, it'll appear early Wednesday morning host the coldest hours of the week with temps primarily in the teens for lows (see map).

And yes, there's a chance for a couple inches of snow to fall somewhere north of I40 but we're a little far out to tell what exactly will happen. We ARE in the middle of a sweeps period so rest assured that your favorite TV met will be right on top of any potential frozen precip.

Looking further out, the guys with the meteorological brains that surround my office say it'll be a cold remainder of the month. So long reasonable heating bills...

Stormtrack Transition Update #5

It's been another busy week of building the new Stormtrack. We are pleased with the test database import and are now taking time to populate static content, some of which is outlined below. Also outlined here are a few features of the site I thought you might want to know about:

  • Xenforo: This forum platform is the up and comer. We tested the later versions of vB, as well as several others, and chose XF. Xenforo is consistently evolving, extremely stable, and has many 3rd party options.
  • Social: The forum will now allow you to connect your Facebook, Twitter, or Google accounts. This makes sharing easier and also brings in information for your profile (if you wish). Each page has sharing capability all the way down to a single post within a thread.
  • Integrated social: You may now tag other members as you would on Facebook or Twitter with the '@' sign and their name. We have also integrated #Hashtags to make searching for common topics or brands even easier.
  • Static content: The ENTIRE original Stormtrack magazine collection has been obtained, PDF'd and then parsed by volume and issue. This is a lot more content than we have on the current site.
  • Static Content (Addt'l): In the form of a wiki, past chase dates will now be searchable and edited by members. These will include links to your chase accounts, images, and background on the chase day. Also being developed is a "who's who" in the chase community list. Answer as many questions as you like HERE and submit to Danny ASAP. Quality, unique forecast links? Yeah, we've got that for you too. A few other cool static pages are in the works.
  • Chat: We have a chatroom now that is completely integrated into the forum. The chat will display links automatically to new posts in the forum as they are made. Posting of images, different text colors, etc are similar to the current ST chat.
  • Photo Contest: Finally members can showcase their work and get feedback, votes, shares, etc.
  • Like/Dislike: If you like a post in the new ST, you can give it a thumbs up. With each thumbs-up, the original poster receives a reputation point. Dislike a post? Instead of throttling that person in the thread, simply give them a thumbs down. This takes away a reputation point. Reputation accumulates to help the member achieve higher status within the community. The reputation system is designed to promote quality content.
  • Resources: Many of the "Stickies" from the current board will be tucked nicely in this area for reference. They will be stacked in order of interest based on how many views they receive as people are looking for content.

My primary goals upon taking over the ST leadership position were to create a killer alternative platform to the current Stormtrack and rebuild membership. My secondary goal was to launch before NSCC. I firmly believe the best approach here is to nix my second goal in favor of ensuring we are in the absolute best shape for a full release at a later date. This later date will occur the weekend following NSCC.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Stormtrack Sneak Peeks

Figured I would share some screenshots of some features we're including in the new version of Stormtrack. I have purposely omitted the header and footer areas. You'll have to check out the site after launch for those. Here are just a few of the cool things we are working on:

This is the chat area. It's simple, smooth and fast. If you're familiar with the current ST chat, you'll feel right at home. The chat will pop out into a separate window so those of you who were fans of the old Spotterchat will love it!

Check it out, you can host your photos on ST rather than a third-party website. Yes, you can do this on the current Stormtrack forum but now you can post albums, associate these albums with your profile, and even display them for fellow members to provide feedback and/or rank. As you can see, there are tons of options in the media area.

Speaking of photos, full fledged contests can now be hosted at Stormtrack. Prizes? Yes.
Anyone can start a contest and they are as simple as they look here in the screenshot.

Here's where things get interesting. This is the resources area where you can find anything from forecast links to extremely detailed chase accounts. We are very pleased to have Tim Marshall's blessing to publishing the FULL Stormtrack Magazine archive as well as other publications from the paper ST era.

We know a lot of you like to print things you find online in order to reference the in the field. This screenshot is the printed version of the last screenshot. Basically we index things for you and present it in a pleasing format.
Again, these are just a few of the features I wanted to go over. Things are really coming together in the background and I anticipate turning the site on in the very near future. I'll try to post a few more screenshots of other goodies in the coming days if there is time.