Monday, April 20, 2015

A few ECMWF Maps Concerning Friday

So the SPC said" hey, we're watching Day5 pretty closely and if the GFS verifies, there will be severe weather in the east and if the Euro verifies, there could be an outbreak in the plains. Since we like the prospect of chasing severe weather, weather geeks like myself have flocked to our favorite source of ECMWF data and started to talk about the Friday potential as if the event was only 24 hours out.
So here are a few I pulled and before you turn me into the Euro police, I have a redistribution license. All maps are from the 12z run today.






Surface winds per today's 12z run

Surface winds per last night's 00z run

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Forecast Images - Wednesday 4/8/15

These stunning images are from the guys over at AllisonHouse who are quietly building what will be the next big model website attraction. Allisonhouse Maps has the interactivity of HazWX with easy-on-the-eyes color tables of WeatherBell. I uploaded a few images for 00z on Wednesday based upon the 00z tonight (Sunday) so you too can see how nice they look. 





Saturday, April 4, 2015

Color Tables and Modeling

Neat features like interactive mapping, layers, special views and model run completion status are included in many model sites but color tables and smoothing is what ultimately sells the goods; above and beyond the featureset.

It's clear that some maps are more appealing than others even though they display nearly the exact same information. Until higher resolution layers can be rendered more quickly, we are stuck with smoothing to make up for wider gradients. Smoothing is nice and all, but an eye for color and contrast is where the rubber truly meets the road.

There are plenty of guides available for color usage on maps. None of them make great model color tables and it's those who have thought outside the box who have the most stunning layer outputs.
So, get creative and try some different color concepts and see what pops. Find several of these appealing color schemes and make them interchangeable options for layers (yes, it can be done) and the users will flock to your site. No one wants to stare at ugly maps and they sure as hell don't want to share them.

The maps below all depict the same information: GFS Total Precip at 18z on Tuesday. What appeals most to you?
(COD is missing due to their site not working this morning) 
HazWx

NOAA NCEP
AllisonHouse

Wunderground

WeatherBell
StormVista
TwisterData

Friday, March 27, 2015

Weather company flips shit over its own ability to predict the weather


With a blatant disregard for their peers in the industry, the meteorology profession, and the government agency responsible for supplying them with raw data at no cost to them, AccuWeather released this promotional piece slamming the ability of NOAA's SPC to accurately predict tornadoes. The piece outlines Oklahoma severe weather events of March 25, 2015. They state:
The NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center, located just
9 miles south of the tornado’s path, judged the risk
of tornadoes in the region to be “low” and issued
a severe thunderstorm, rather than a tornado watch.
Further, the potential for “significant” tornadoes was
forecasted by NOAA to be “very low.” 
They go on to say:
This isn’t the first time AccuWeather has provided its clients
with a superior service in the backyard of the NOAA Storm
Prediction Center. On April 13, 2012, a tornado cut through
Norman, Oklahoma, causing considerable damage.
AccuWeather issued its tornado warning at 3:29 P.M.
The NWS didn’t issue its tornado warning until 3:59 P.M
NOAA is the ultimate supplier of 80% of the raw data private U.S. weather companies utilize to make forecasts. In addition, NOAA is a federally-funded entity that is in no way a competitor to private weather companies. Furthermore, weather agencies under the NOAA umbrella have zero recourse for scandalmongering. There are more tactful ways to boast one's product - without ultimately biting the hand that feeds you. There is no way a business-person wrote this piece.

On a positive note:
One thing that NOAA's NWS and AccuWeather can agree on is that WDT's RadarScope is the best app with which to deliver weather radar information to the public:


 Thanks for the recognition, guys!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Hail Hell


Really looking forward to seeing how this plays out. One thing's for sure, there are going to be a lot of very happy roofers in Oklahoma by tonight.





Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Watch - Warning - Emergency

Well, here we are. Finally "Emergency" is classified as a type of weather notification, taking the wind out of the word "Warning."
No longer will people heed the urgency once conveyed in the words Tornado Warning or Flash Flood Warning. Instead they will wait for the seemingly more eminent Tornado Emergency, Flash Flood Emergency, or enter your emergency here ________.



So what has happened here? Was it necessary to go ultra mega extreme? Has the weather information provided to those who issue official warnings progressed to the point that three types of notification are necessary? Is the general public capable of comprehending three levels of severity?

Monday, March 23, 2015

PoopWatch wants to be taken seriously

No kidding, this guy "PoopWatch" is on reddit wanting other people to buy his newly designed modeling system for $7-9 per month. I'm all about a new modeling system, especially one that is disruptive (this one does not appear to be of that variety), but can't imagine taking a guy who calls himself PoopWatch serious.