Updating The Weather Map

from the joining-this-millennium dept

Don’t think the quality of computer graphics technology just matters to the video game industry. The folks providing weather maps are watching the technology as well. In fact, over at the BBC, they’re updating their 6 year-old weather map technology with much more modern computer graphics technology, that they say matches the latest 3D graphics found in high level video games. Either way, it clearly beats the ancient magnet based system some people may remember. Still, at some point, you have to wonder how much marginal benefit there is from more realistic looking rain on the TV weather map.

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Comments on “Updating The Weather Map”

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MissinLnk says:

Ah, this is a good step!

This isn’t a making rain look better step. This model uses real-time data. All the stuff you see on your local channel is pre-rendered before the weather guy gets on air, with them manually manipulating most everything. Depending on the system, it can be a time-consuming (and pain in the butt) task.

Hmmm, get the data updated frequent enough and you could have a 3D model of a storm plowing through your area. Won’t happen anytime soon, but it’d be kinda cool.

Ubertechosis says:

Just look out the window!!

It never ceases to amaze me how people in the tech business keep looking for complicated solutions to simple problems.

You want a real-time 3D view of a storm going through your area? LOOK OUT THE WINDOW!!

Now if you want to see a model of a storm that is a week away, that would be cool.

Permanent4 (profile) says:

Re: Just look out the window!!

Please. By the time you look out the window, that tornado could be right on your doorstep. Weather forecasting isn’t just about whether or not it will rain today. It’s also about warning people when something truly threatening is approaching.

The death toll from the 1900 Storm in Galveston, Texas was more than 6,000. Only 25 people died as a result of Hurricane Charley a couple of weeks ago. See the difference? Advances in this technology benefit everyone.

And no, I’m not a weatherman. I just recognize a good value when I see it.

shyguy says:

Re: Re: Just look out the window!!

You seem to be missing the point where specific parts of the technology are applied: the display that the local weatherman is using has nothing to do with forecasting of major storms; these long term forecasts are doing by the NOAA et al. The local weatherman puts a pretty face on the data.

It’s a waste of money to keep making the face prettier, while still only showing the weather that has already happened. Local weather is a dog and pony show, but at least it could be an educational dog and pony show.

shyguy says:

Waste of money

With the UK going through the process of alreeady switching to metric, this doesn’t quite apply to the specifics of the story, but…
Rather than waste so much money on all sorts of gee-gaws gadgets for showing the weather which already happened (i.e., the 12 hour loops) and predicting ‘micro climate temperatures around the city’ or showing wind patterns, it would be a heck of a lot more useful to Americans for the weathermen to start putting Imperial and METRIC values for the high and low temperatures.
It would benefit the great number of immigrants who’ve moved here from metric-based countries, and it would benefit the metric-ignorant Americans.

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