Weather Alerts Get More (and More) Mobile

The use of social media as a forecast tool seems to develop as rapidly as the devices themselves. In December, the NWS revealed it will soon be providing customized location-specific alerts through a user’s wireless carrier.
“We’re getting this weather, disaster, and other emergency information into your hand,” says David Green of the NWS. “The new service will use geo-location to target alerts to a person’s whereabouts. The goal is to give people greater insight into what’s going on with the weather so they can make the best decisions about how to respond.”
At the AMS Meeting in New Orleans next month, you can get a look at two more ways mobile devices are being used to aid in forecasts. In “Using Mobile Devices to Display, Overlay, and Animate Meteorological Data and Imagery,” David Santek, CIMSS/University of Wisconsin, and colleagues, will show their custom interfaces for smartphones that offer near real-time weather alerts. For more on the details of their applications and the future plans for it, check out their presentation on Monday, 23 January, at 5:00 p.m. (Room 357).
Marcel Molendijk, of the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute, offers up a different use in “iWitness; Damage Assessment of Severe Weather by Mobile (phone) Observations.” Instead of sending weather alerts to cell phone users, Moldendijk and colleagues collected accident damage reports from an Apple iOS application they developed, with information including a description of the event, time and location (GPS-based), and an optional photo. To get more information on the KNMI system and the results collected to date, go to the talk on Tuesday, 24 January at 2:30 p.m. (Room 356).