Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Free tools & data to predict hurricanes

Four weeks ago I blogged here about the availability of open data, posting it on the open web and its potential social impact. Two weeks ago I blogged here too about tracking three hurricanes in the Caribbean via the brilliant but closed earth.nullschool.net. In between I compared & contrasted open & closed regimes on my Medium channel... and that 2½ yrs after a previous blog here on same!

Last week I tracked a fourth hurricane! Seeing as I was crafting videos of Earth images, I went further down-tech and overlaid images of hurricanes Irma & Maria to compare their paths.   The video above show Maria in colour then in grayscale over Irma in colour, in fast and in slow motion.

Posted on YouTube the 20th of September, it showed a path prediction to the 24th - you can view it above. This rounds off how available tools can be used:

  • mapping floods (after-the-fact for models to be created then distributed) - open
  • compare local infrastructure to increase situational awareness - open / not open
  • map weather events either to predict path or to compare to past ones - closed
Regardless, these tools are free and readily available, so that turn-around for publication and dissemination is both rapid and timely.