April 6

Severe Weather with the Aeris API

Severe weather season is upon us again. Unfortunately major outbreaks have already occurred across the Southern Plains and throughout the Southeastern U.S. recently. Over the past week, more than 100 tornado-related and over 500 hail reports have been received.

Our Aeris Weather API provides a variety of severe weather-related endpoints you can use in your own applications so you and your users stay on top of threatening conditions. All of the severe weather endpoints we’ll review are available via our Aeris API Premium and free developer accounts.

This article will be the first in a series detailing our severe weather-related endpoints. We will first highlight the severe weather endpoints, while future posts over the coming weeks will step through the endpoints to provide additional details and examples.

Threats Endpoint

Our threats endpoint provides a localized summary of potential storm threats.  This endpoint provides information on threatening storms currently affecting or approaching a particular location, all while ignoring non-threatening storms and storms not directly approaching the given location. We utilize this same threats endpoint within the Aeris Pulse mobile application to define the pulsing direction area storm threat phrasing. Our storm threats map also visualizes this information with additional detail for any location.

Storm Threats Near Atlanta, GA     Storm Threats near Atlanta, GA

Stormcells Endpoint

Our stormcells endpoint provides observed data and forecasts for individual storm cells across the United States. This storm cell information is a radar-derived product that attempts to identify and track storm cell movement. Cell intensity and severe weather signatures within the cell, such as rotation and hail, are also reported. The forecast track can be obtained as a polygon cone or as a line. One unique feature of the stormcells endpoint is the ability to query and determine when and where a cell will affect a particular location or list of locations based on the forecast cone.

Along with the stormcells API endpoint, the Aeris Mapping Platform (AMP) also provides a group of storm cell layers.

Storm cells near Atlanta, GA     Storm Cells via Aeris Pulse

Stormcells Summary Endpoint

Our stormcells summary endpoint provides an overall overview of the current storm cells. For example, you can: obtain the total number of storms cells; query the maximum hail currently reported within all storm cells; or query the number of storm cells with a high probability of hail within a 50 mile radius.  Polygons of storm cell groups are also included in the summary, allowing you to plot clusters of storm activity on maps. Coverage area includes all US states, Puerto Rico and Guam.

Convective Outlook Endpoint

Our convective outlook endpoint provides access to the connective weather outlooks from the Severe Prediction Center (SPC).  You can access the convective outlook for the next eight days as well as the hail, wind and tornadic outlooks for the current day.

You can query for many different datasets using the convective outlook endpoint, including: obtaining the polygons to plot on a map; querying by location to find the convective threats for that location; or fetching a list of places sorted by population within a particular connective threat.

Convective Outlook

Convective Outlooks via Aeris API

Advisories Endpoint

Our advisories endpoint provides access to all currently active US advisories as issued by the National Weather Service (NWS). The NWS issues a variety of severe weather warnings, watches, and advisories for a localized regions, counties, or forecast zones.

During severe weather season, this endpoint is indispensable for obtaining the latest tornado and severe thunderstorm watches and warnings. For tornado, severe thunderstorm or flood warnings, the localized polygon of the area covered by the warning is also included.

Along with the advisories API endpoint, the Aeris Mapping Platform (AMP) also provides a group of advisory/alerts layers.

20170405171204_20170405171204

Advisories during a severe weather event via Aeris Maps Platform (AMP).

Storm Reports Endpoint

Our storm reports endpoint provides access to the local storm reports as transmitted by the National Weather Service (NWS). These reports provide information about severe weather events for a specific location and originate from storm spotters, such as amateur radio operators, storm chasers, law enforcement, emergency management, or citizens.  Storm report information is available from the early 1900s through the current date.

This endpoint is perfect for finding and visualizing the number of tornado and hail reports as storms progress. Many reports will include additional details specific to the event, such as hail size, wind speeds, and precipitation amounts.

Our Storm Reports Visualizer is a great example of utilizing the storm reports endpoint for a visualization.

Interactive Storm Reports Example

Storm Reports Summary Endpoint

Our storm reports summary endpoint is a newer endpoint that provides an overall summary of received storm reports based on search/filter criteria. Some sample use cases include: obtaining the number of storm reports received within a time frame and geographical area; maximum rainfall or wind speeds reported from all reports; or the number of tornadic storm reports within a 500 mile radius of a particular location.

Map Layers

Alongside the severe weather endpoints our Aeris Weather API offers, our Aeris Mapping Platform (AMP) provides a variety of layers that are very useful with severe weather, including:

  • Alerts / Advisories
  • Storm cells
  • Storm reports
  • Lightning strike density
  • Hi-res visible satellite

We’ve reviewed the many capabilities for integrating severe weather information into your own applications using the endpoints offered within our Aeris Weather API. Over the next few installments, we will step through these endpoints in more detail to expand on their capabilities and provide more detailed examples. Severe weather season is well underway, so get started with our free developer account to experiment with our severe weather datasets and imagery.

 

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