Give the National Weather Service some credit for some clever crowdsourcing experiments. It has just launched a Twitter-based program to monitor tweets about severe weather, and hopes to eventually transform cars into mobile weather stations, Discovery News reports.
By Lauren AaronsonPosted 01.07.2008 at 11:47 am 0 Comments
The Las Vegas Convention Center covers almost 70 acres, so when youre wandering the halls at CES, its easy to forget that theres a world outside. But new weather gadgets help keep indoor geeks posted on the conditions in the great beyond, so theyll be ready should they ever venture out.
La Crosse Technology Weather DirectReplace your bedside alarm clock with this box, and you can get online weather forecasts—without a computer. A base station plugs into an Ethernet jack on your Internet router, downloads three-day forecasts, and sends them to this display using radio waves that reach 330 feet. The display can even show info from a wireless barometer, temperature sensor, or weather vane that you set up in your backyard.
Oregon Scientific InstaForecastLike LaCrosses display, Oregon Scientifics pulls weather info off the Internet, but your computer has to be on for it to work. Software on your PC downloads five-day forecasts from the National Weather Service and elsewhere. Then a USB dongle wirelessly beams data to this tabletop gadget, no matter where in the house you put it. You can also set up wireless sensors to measure temperature and humidity, both indoors and out.
Honeywell Atomic Projection Clock with NOAANo Internet connection here, but theres gadget-y fun nonetheless. This atomic clock projects the time and indoor temperature on the ceiling or wall. Its LCD display tells you about public weather alerts, such as tornado warnings, that are broadcast over NOAAs radio service.—Lauren Aaronson
Want more? Check out our entire CES 2008 coverage here.
Morale could use a little boost here at PopSci HQ this evening—our long awaited first office softball game has been postponed due to the approach of inclement weather. Alas, our poor opponents will have to wait another week to face our softball wrath. One good thing has come out of Mother Nature's cruel trick, however: the discovery of the National Weather Service's free Doppler Radar service on Google Earth.
If you ask me, Doppler radar is one of the finer developments of our time. From switching over to the local cable channel that used to show all-radar-all-the-time as a kid to witnessing the news channels' eternal Doppler arms race (New! Doppler Super Hawk Vision 3000!), much ballyhoo has always surrounded our ability to visualize the approach of oncoming storm clouds and prepare ourselves accordingly.
I don't know if it will ever get better than this, though: simply head over to the NWS's special site, choose your region and the type of radar you want (Composite Reflectivity! Storm Relative Motion!) and open the resulting file in Google Earth. Awesome. —John Mahoney
This mobile-phone system helps you choose a sunscreen and tells you when to reapply
By Jebediah ReedPosted 05.15.2007 at 2:00 am 0 Comments
Cellphones don't offer much shade on a bright day. But in December, Philips Electronics filed a patent on a system that would allow the devices to help prevent sunburns and skin cancer. The plan integrates information about a cellular customer's location with real-time local data about how much ultraviolet radiation—the component of sunlight that can harm skin—is hitting the area, as measured by the National Weather Service or yet-to-be-installed sensors at popular outdoor spots like beaches and ballparks.
It takes Scott Kiser only a split second to name the one city in the U.S., and probably the world, that would sustain the most catastrophic damage from a category-5 hurricane. "New Orleans," says Kiser, a tropical-cyclone program manager for the National Weather Service. "Because the city is below sea level-with the Mississippi River on one side and Lake Pontchartrain on the other-it is a hydrologic nightmare." The worst problem, he explains, would be a storm surge, a phenomenon in which high winds stack up huge waves along a hurricane´s leading edge.
Snowstorms do produce thunder and lightning - only less frequently than summertime thunderstorms. Also, snowflakes - with a larger surface than raindrops - scatter sound and light more efficiently. In addition, visibility during snowstorms is often very low, making the flashes harder to see.