2007 Site Updates

Some links and images are no longer available in our older site updates. Additionally, some information is no longer applicable.

For the latest site updates, click here.

October 28th, 2007... Dropsonde decoder in alpha testing

For the past month I have been working on a dropsonde decoder. It is currently in alpha testing to anyone who wishes to test it. The decoder almost certainly has lots of errors, so none of the data should be used for any purpose other than for helping me to determine errors. If you find a dropsonde report that cannot be decoded, please send it to me here. Just paste it in the text box on that page. I will then look it up in the recon archives to get the actual formatting of the message. There are a few things noted in the dropsonde decoder that mention that the decoder can't or does not know for sure how to decode. If you know how that particular part should be handled, please let me know. The decoder is now "more friendly" to older messages, though I still have work to do.

October 12th, 2007

In the most recent invest, 97L, old model data appeared. This data was associated with the previous 97L that existed several weeks ago. I have put in an extra error check to make sure that the last late cycle model data should be associated with the current invest.

September 25th, 2007

TD13 for a few hours did not appear correctly. A mistake existed in the ATCF database. There was no file for the storm, but there were models, so it threw off my site.

September 12th, 2007

So there is an error where an invest and the storm that was upgraded from that invest both display on our site at the same time. It turns out I did fix that error in the more simplified system and it is the NHC's site that currently has the problem. The error would occur no matter what system I had running. They don't have a renumber file that says 91L should have become 08L. That creates a problem. I have added a temporary line to the script to ignore 91L. I can see where that kind of error in the NHC ATCF database would cause the model system I am rewriting to have problems that would require a manual intervention that would be rather complex. That is now another complication I will have to think about being able to handle.

September 10th, 2007

I have released a new site layout.

September 6th, 2007

I completed a beta version of my new decoded recon archive. This is an excellent addition since it saves most every mission that goes through the live recon decoder. (Non tasked missions are dropped for now.) I have a lot of ideas for the recon decoder, but I'm not sure when I'll get to them. Once again I'm not sure what I will work on next.

September 2nd, 2007

I have added a few new things. I added a distance calculator and also setup the live recon decoder to include NOAA HDOB messages. It also tells you on the main page if the product has been updated in the past 30 minutes.

August 29th, 2007

I have finally got my old computer working after the newer one's power supply unit died. I reinstalled my old computer and now have it up to date. I decided to reinstall it in the hopes it might work better if I started fresh. Unfortunately the hardware is very outdated, so until I get a new computer, I will not be adding any more Google Earth overlays because I can't easily test things. I'm sure I'll still be able to test my new Google Earth model plot system. I haven't decided yet what I will start working on next.

August 14th, 2007

Storm and model point icons were briefly unavailable tonight. I changed the path to the images and did not update it correctly. All is fine now. I moved the image locations from where they were on my test model site. In the new model system I am about to return to working on, images will be zipped inside Google Earth files so that you do not need to connect to download the imagery each time. That will be just one of several improvements. The new system will not be available for several months are longer.

August 13th, 2007

I'm still working on Google Earth overlays. I think in a day or two I might get back to the model/storm system I began work on last year. I really would like to get parts of it in beta testing running along side the current system. I really hope I can have it working before the hurricane season ends. For the next few days I am running models for Hurricane Flossie. As soon as the threat is over, I will remove that system. I have other things planned in the future, such as a redesign of the site, possibly adding model data permanently for the East Pacific, building a vortex decoder, more Google Earth products, and other various things around the site. Lots of things to do in the coming year.

August 8th, 2007

I'm still adding overlays to my Google Earth overlay product, so I have yet to add it to the site. I have now completed a live recon decoder which automatically downloads the latest Air Force HDOB data and decodes it.

August 2nd, 2007

I have yet to add a link to it on the site, but I have created a Google Earth file containing a large amount of satellite overlays. It can be used in conjunction with our model system. You can download it here. Please read the "About / Help" section in the file for some notes about the product. The product works nicely for displaying model data over certain satellite overlays.

July 14th, 2007

I have been working on a lot of different things in the past week. I have been adding things here and there and researching some of the different NHC models so that I can label all the models in the newer model system. I also bought http://tropicalglobe.com/. Eventually I will have links to information in other basins. However, I will never provide up to date content for other basins. Too much work. I will be providing model data for East Pacific storms, or at least I plan to, when I release the new model system, but that will likely be for next year. I might possibly move the new model system over to the new site I bought since it will be for the Atlantic and East Pacific, but I don't know yet. You may notice in the future that certain parts of this site will move to the new one. I doubt I will move much over though.

Older updates...

I have returned working on the newer model system. I might not do anything with the old system that is currently active. Now that it seems to be working, I prefer to leave it alone and work on the newer system. However, I might still make a few more upgrades after I test part of the new model system. There are some important and informative updates I would like to make that I am working on right now in the new model system. The entire new system will take many, many months to test, but certain elements, like the model system, I think are worth releasing sooner rather than later. I will probably run a test alongside the current model system for a bit when I am done and then add it into the older system. The past storm track using ATCF database data is something I might add to the earlier release, if I make one. The newer system will provide both the past storm track using ATCF database data and advisory data.

Our old model system has now been mostly restored. The plots in Google Earth and Google Maps have been restored. They appear to all being working and updating properly. I don't think I will add back the CSU imagery. Those images are very large and require a large amount of bandwidth to serve them. Last year they used as much as a gigabyte per month and they were not used by many people. Less than 500 people per month used them and only a small fraction probably spent time looking at them. My model plots provide nearly the same data, though the intensity guidance is best displayed on the CSU site. (I will be displaying SHF5 and SHFR intensity guidance in the new system.) I like the idea of using Google Maps or Google Earth better than images. You can add the model data you want and remove what you do not want. Otherwise it gets all cluttered. People like to post the images in message boards, but I think if people take the time to visit a link they will find that there are better ways to display the data.

The HWRF model is now available through my site's model plots when it is available.

I am working on this site full time throughout the summer and into the fall, so hopefully I will make a lot of progress on the model and storm system I began last year. When it is finally rolled out in beta form, it will run alongside the system that was just restored. There is a lot of complexity to the newer system and it will take a long time before all the bugs are worked out. It will be at least several months, probably longer, before the newer system is ready. I think it might be next season before it is operational. That would give me time to test everything all throughout this season. The entire new system will also contain NHC advisory data, past storm track, UKMET model data, and other various improvements. The newer model system is rather complete but is not yet integrated into anything. Of course the same can be said of the other parts of the system, which seem to work well so far by themselves. I need to write the script that combines all the data and manages it properly. (such as being able to view any previous model run of a storm) The part that needs to be tested well next will be the part that renames files from invest to a numbered storm. I am still deciding on some of those features.

A beta release of the new HDOB decoder for 2007 is now available. I still need to create dropsonde and vortex message decoders. I decided to work on the vortex decoder first. I realized it may be the more difficult one to create and the sooner I complete it, the sooner beta testing can begin.