January 17

The Extended Outlook Calls for Real-Time, Streaming Weather Alerts

by Paul Douglas

As a meteorologist, one of my daily responsibilities has always been to forecast the weather – both for consumers and businesses alike. When issuing a forecast, I’m free to look at the data and models and issue my own forecast: I can make a subjective prediction that differs from my competitors, or the National Weather Service (NWS). But, the NWS is the ONLY U.S. agency that issues official alerts for threatening weather conditions, in any form. If every forecaster issued their own weather alerts, the result would be chaos, widespread confusion, with a much greater risk of subsequent weather injuries and fatalities. And, research has shown that when people receive conflicting information they are more likely to do nothing, and that could have potentially life-threatening consequences.

A recent winter map of the Eastern United States, highlighting just a few of the 120 severe weather alert types issued by National Weather Service (NWS).

A recent winter map of the Eastern United States, highlighting just a few of the 120 severe weather alert types issued by National Weather Service (NWS).

In North America, it’s The NWS and Environment Canada that issue these severe weather alerts that instantly quantify risk to life and property across the US and Canada, respectively. At a glance, users can gauge threat levels and take necessary precautions. AerisWeather supports 120 different NWS weather and civil advisories for the United States, with another 45 additional advisories issued by Environment Canada, because weather threats don’t stop at the U.S. border. The list of alerts is inclusive and comprehensive; everything from Avalanche Warnings and Ice Storm Warnings to Tornado Watches and Volcano Warnings. All alerts have an expiration time, highlighting when a threat level is forecast to diminish to a point where danger has become minimal.

Environment Canada issues 45 different types of advisories for Canadian provinces from Newfoundland to British Columbia and The Yukon.

Environment Canada issues 45 different types of advisories for Canadian provinces from Newfoundland to British Columbia and The Yukon.

As I look back at 2017, I’m reminded of how the tempo and intensity of severe weather is on the rise. Last year alone, the U.S. experienced 16 weather and climate disasters in which losses exceeded $1 Billion, a new U.S. annual record according to NOAA. Whether your business has customers onsite, vehicles on the highway or employees in the field, this is a trend you simply can’t afford to ignore.

The good news is that in today’s digital age, all of these real-time severe weather alerts are ready and available. Whether you’re building an internal software application or, licensing one from a 3rd party, I’d urge you to leverage the severe weather alerts that matter to your business. While there’s not a broadcast meteorologist alive that wouldn’t like your attention during the next weather event, it’s real-time severe weather alerts that will make the difference in protecting life and property. As I’ve said often, new times require new tools.

-Paul Douglas, Chief Science Officer & Co-Founder

Learn More

Read more in our Developer Team’s blog about alerts.
Check out our documentation for alerts in the API or Aeris Mapping Platform (AMP).
If you have questions contact our Sales or Technical Support Team.

 

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