Winter storm "Nemo
" is headed for New England, and weather experts
more than two feet of snow in some areas. [more inside]
Wireless Emergency Alerts
(WEA) are a new service from U.S. weather service and FEMA. Starting in June, they will send a text message with a strange tone to your mobile device if you are in range of a Tornado Warning, Tsunami Warning or other major event (in the U.S. only). Major events include "Presidential Alerts." You do not need to sign up. Washington Post Capital Weather Gang
has a few more details.
"Are you going to issue a tornado forecast?" [asked the general].
We both made abortive efforts at crawling out of such a horrendous decision. We pointed out the infinitesimal possibility of a second tornado striking the same area within twenty years or more, let alone in five days. "Besides," we said, "no one has ever issued an operational tornado forecast." [more inside]
- "Volunteers working together to measure precipitation across the nation." Sponsored by NWS, NOAA, and more... Volunteers Wanted (pdf)
The (U.S.) National Weather Service has released its report on a strong tornado that occured in Iowa the evening of May 25th.
On the evening of May 25th, 2008 a tornado
rated at EF5
(estimated wind speed was around 205 MPH!!) obliterated half of the town of Parkersburg, Iowa
people have died, and 70 were injured. Here is a PDF
containing incredible pictures of the damage (taken by employees of the NWS during their survey). [more inside]
Free the Weather?
On Slate, Timothy Noah explains how Santorum's National Weather Services Duties Act
effectively gags NWS in private weather's favor. [more inside]
Sen. Rick Santorum, (R-Pa) introduced a bill in the Senate last week that would prohibit federal meteorologists from competing with companies such as AccuWeather and The Weather Channel
which offer their own forecasts through paid services and free ad-supported Web sites. He says that as he reads the bill, a vast amount of federal weather data would be forced offline. "I believe I've paid for that data once. ... I don't want to have to pay for it again," said Scott Bradner, a technical consultant at Harvard University. The bill
has been referred to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation
The weather just got a lot more accessible. The National Weather Service's weather data is now freely available
in XML format
clients; it had previously been only available through commercial providers or in a difficult-to-decipher format. Not knowing anything about web services, I'm not sure about the implications, but I imagine that anyone who knows their SOAP
could build their own weather app really easily.
It really is amazing what kinds of cool, free, raw data you can get from the web (that other folks would charge you good money for), here are a few I've come across.
Weather, from the good folks at the NOAA/NWS
Geographic locations of zipcodes amongst other things from those pesky buggers at the US Census Office
Want reverse phone lookup data ? NANPA has the skinny.
So what other cool data feeds have people found out there ?