July 16, 2007

New Features at StormPulse mashup

This update came a couple of weeks back from one of my favorite mashup developers - the app is also very useful, particularly as hurricane season heats up. I was at the ESRI UC when I got word from the developer

  • Cloud cover of the Earth that’s self-updating and current. No more staring at Barry weeks later. The cloud cover you see should always be less than six hours old.
  • Satellite image browsing. This one took up a lot of time, but we finally have a real, navigable interface into our satellite imagery. On the home page, you’ll see the latest images for all regions: Caribbean, Florida, Gulf of Mexico, Puerto Rico, Texas, Eastern U.S., Mid-Atlantic U.S., Northeast U.S., West Atlantic, Northwest Atlantic, North Atlantic, Central Atlantic, East Atlantic. I’m happy to say that the URL’s are fairly clean as well–for example, http://www.stormpulse.com/satellite/florida will show you the latest imagery for Florida, http://www.stormpulse.com/satellite/gulf-of-mexico will show the latest imagery for the Gulf of Mexico. Currently we are only grabbing images from the GOES-12 and UK Met. satellites, but we will be adding links to the high-resolution Aqua and Terra MODIS satellites in the future.
  • Option to turn off cloud cover. There’s now a toggle at the top-right of the map window for turning clouds (o) On or ( ) Off. If there’s a green dot on the ‘On’ option, they’re on, and . . . well, you get the idea.
  • Circles showing the extent of storm force winds. Known as ‘wind radii’ in weather lingo, these are concentric circles drawn on top of the storm’s path to illustrate how far tropical depression, tropical storm, and hurricane-force winds extend from the storm’s center. These help to answer the question of if and when the storm will be upon you (tropical cyclones are not small-scale events!). This data is available for all presently-developing storms and storms dating back to 2004. Keep an eye out, because every storm has a unique wind radii ’signature’, and as we all know, winds can vary dramatically in each ‘quadrant’ of the storm. For example, take a look at Rita’s symmetry compared to Wilma’s later stages.
  • Tropical Weather Outlook. We’re now displaying the latest Tropical Weather Outlook in the top-left corner of the home page. The Tropical Weather Outlook summarizes the National Hurricane Center’s thoughts on if and when we could see new storm development in the tropics.
  • Added new hurricane-tracking buoys. We’ve added Buoy 42059 and Buoy 41043 to our database. Floating in the eastern Caribbean Sea and north of Puerto Rico, respectively, these buoys are in prime positions for monitoring tropical cyclone activity. View a map of NOAA’s buoy expansion project.
  • Tweaked the display of our buoy data so that the main buoys along the path from the Cape Verde islands to the Yucatan Peninsula and Gulf of Mexico are visible when you’re zoomed farther out.
See stormpulse

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