April 28

Track Severe Weather with the Threats Endpoint

Springtime in the US signals the start of the severe weather season, bringing severe storms, hail, and tornadoes from the central plains through the mid-Atlantic and the southeast US. With this extreme weather, there is a need to accurately and quickly inform the public. To assist, AerisWeather offers a selection of severe weather APIs, mapping layers, and our new severe weather module for use within interactive maps.

One of the unique severe weather endpoints, within the AerisWeather API, is the Threats Endpoint. The Threats Endpoint provides information on potential storm threats affecting the US, Puerto Rico, and Guam.

What is the Severe Weather Threats Endpoint?

The AerisWeather Threats Endpoint goes beyond just NWS-issued tornado and severe storm warnings and provides detailed information on threatening storms that may affect a requested location.

The Threats Endpoint utilizes data from various sources, including radar, storm cells, severe weather alerts, convective outlooks, satellites, lightning strike density, etc., to provide a micro-level storm threat response. The API requests are processed when requested, looking at approaching storms and storms currently passing through, while also ignoring storms that have passed or are not approaching a specific location.

Storm Threat Details

The Threats Endpoint provides information on potential storm threats, including distance/bearing from a location, speed, potential hail size and probabilities, rainfall rates, whether approaching storms may be tornadic, and more:

Threats endpoint example fields

Threats endpoint example fields

In addition to the individual storm threat attributes, the Threats Endpoint provides phrasing that details concerns with the approaching storm threats. For example:

An area of strong storms is approaching from the WSW with frequent lightning and up to 0.50 inch hail possible.

Using the Threats Endpoint

The Threats Endpoint processes the storm threats for the specific location requested, whether a latitude/longitude, a “city, state” combination or any of our supported place formats. To query the threats api, pass the location in the URL:

Test via the API Wizard.

For a latitude/longitude

Via the API Wizard.

If there are no threats, the API will respond with a null  attribute. If there are active storm threats, then the API will respond similarly too:

What do the threat attributes mean?

The threats endpoint documentation provides detailed descriptions of the response attributes, in general, the attributes are:

Attribute GroupDescription
Phrase A phrase, in English, that describes the approaching storm threats.
ApproachingTrue means the storms are approaching, False means they are currently passing through.
DirectionThe general direction of the approaching storms are from the requested location.
DistanceThe distances away from the approaching storms are from the requested location.
SpeedThe speed of the approaching storms
TornadicIf the storms are potentially tornadic.
RotationIf the storms have a mesoscale rotation.
HailThe probability of hail and the maximum size based on radar information.
DBZThe intensity of the precipitation within the approaching storms.
MDAThe amount of mesoscale rotation within the approaching storms

Start Utilizing the AerisWeather API’s Threats Endpoint Today

Offer enhanced severe weather alerting to your users with this powerful addition to our Weather API. Contact our sales team or sign up for a developer account to get started today!

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