Layers—in the upper right corner of the map you will find a small white box with an icon for “Layers,” which enables the user to add various discriminators to the map. Simply click on one, or all, of the icons to add those discriminators to the map.
Radar—is the available National Weather Service (NWS) radar, updating in approximately three-minute intervals.
EMA Offices—provides the location of each county EMA office in the state.
County lines—removes or applies county borders to the map.
Cameras—the camera icons on the map indicate where the Institute’s Webcams are located.
Baron—sensor locations with 10-second reporting intervals
Baron HFM—(Unit at Huntsville Executive Airport ?? with minute-by-minute reporting
CHILI—Mesonet provided and operated by the University of South Alabama, courtesy of Dr. Systske Kimball
RWIS—ALDOT road weather information systems sensors and cameras
ASOS-HFM—icon placeholder for sensors that provide one-minute reporting at civil aviation airports
ASOS (automated surface observation system)—Civil aviation sites with irregular reporting data.
APRSWXNET—Volunteer network from ham radio operators and other private citizens. Data updates range from 10-minutes to 15-minutes.
RAWS—remote automatic weather station, operated by the Alabama Forestry Service through its HADS (Hydrometerological Automated Data System).
Units—In the bottom left corner of the map, there is a box marked “Units,” which enables the user to toggle between Standard or Metric data displays.
Marker—again in the bottom left corner. Click on Marker, and users can represent each Institute partner with a circle/dot, or a Barb-with or without values. Click on choice. Partners with a single value or “barb-plus value (barb+value) are able to have any selected value inside the partner’s box.
For example, if HADS is designated as a single value and “24-hr Precip” is chosen, when clicking on HADS in the Layers tab, 24-hour rain totals will be depicted on the map.
If “Barb+Value” is selected for “Baron,” a wind-direction barb will be depicted on the map. A value in red will be chosen as the “1st variable,” and a value in black is chosen as the “optional second variable.” If only one value is desired, leave optional blank. Note: dots appear in place of wind barbs when the data is unavailable.
Settings Icon—bottom left next to Markers
Enable Scrollwheel zoom—enables the user to bypass the + and – control options on the map page to zoom in and zoom out.
Use Alternate map—enables the user to see a more detailed version of the map.
Baron wind barb mode—Enables the user to select from three options: 1) Real time, which provides instantaneous wind direction, 2) Average, which averages the wind direction over a one-minute period, and 3) Real time over Average, which posts a green average barb under the real time
Set current view as startup—locks the startup setting at current view.
Clicking on the camera icon will bring up a thumbnail of current camera view. To enlarge the view to full screen, click on the “up-down” arrows on the bottom right corner of the thumbnail. Click again on the up-down arrows to return to the thumbnail view. Some camera locations are streaming live video, others are full-frame five-second intervals as we continue experimentation with the imagery.
Green Mountain has two camera icons. The lower icon is set at streaming at 1080p; th upper icon is full 2K frame every five seconds. Date and time are posted in the upper left of the image.
Clicking on the “>>” in bottom left of the image activates the Time Lapse mode. Click on the Lapse button once and the legend comes up. Click again and the time lapse starts. Click “<<“ to return to Lapse menu. The default is the location you just selected, with the date and time of the selection. Duration will start the time lapse from 10-minutes ago. Step will be every frame unless the user selects 10 or higher, and the delay is the time between frames in milliseconds, with a default setting of 150. The date can be selected as any date within the past five days.
Clicking on location will change to any other, but the time lapse will use the original time when the first location was selected. Users will need to return to the original location before closing the function.
As in the Webcam operation, click on the up-down arrows in the bottom right to return to the thumbnail. Exit out of the thumbnail, or turn if off, by clicking on the “x.” Please note: clicking on “x” to exit the full frame will close the map program.
The Institute is also experimenting with various imagery ideas on some of the Webcams. There are inverted as well as hanging Webcams. This enables the viewer to see more of the sky but may not be best suited for higher elevations.
There are various sensors deployed, a combination of traditional and solid state as well as some home designed units. The objective here is to maintain accuracy and robustness at the least cost. Some sites will have multiple sensors available.
There are plans to experiment with automating Webcams to face into prevailing winds, as well as adding numerous soil-moisture sensors in collaboration with Dr. John Christy, the Alabama State Climatologist who is house at the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH). The Institute is also exploring the potential of adding real-time asthma alert sensors via particulate sensing in collaboration with the UAH School of Nursing.