Monday, March 15, 2010

Weather Service Experiments with Twitter

Link to March 15 Appleton Post-Crescent article, "Twitter latest storm forecasting tool".

Excerpt: When a tornado devastated Union City, Okla., in May 1973, weather forecasting took a giant step forward when a relatively new tool, known as Doppler radar, opened the life cycle of the twister to scientists.

Nearly four decades and many Doppler radar improvements later, weather forecasters are turning back to a very old tool, the human eye, to advance their craft. Sign up for news, weather and sports text alerts.  

The skyward gaze of a person, paired with two technological advances whose names were unknown even a few years ago — Twitter and geotagging — promise to give the latest and most accurate forecasts of bad weather.

The National Weather Service office in Green Bay is one of eight weather service offices in the country experimenting with the social networking service Twitter to assist in tracking approaching storms, said Jeff Last, a warning coordination meteorologist in Green Bay.

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