Tuesday, September 2, 2014 23:40 GMT

Site Updates

August 30th, 2014

On August 26th, the new recon system experimentally went online. The new system will likely continue to run live until it finally becomes our operational recon system next year. Our current, more stable recon system, will continue to run live until next year. If you notice any problems with the new system, or have any comments, please contact us. Updates will continue over the next many months on the system.

August 11th, 2014

The following applies to the new recon system. I am currently working on the central part of the new recon system, rewriting the code that will actually check for recon data. The new system will use more intelligent means of checking for data, only checking for data when it thinks it is needed in order to be less demanding, including also checking the NHC's recon archive to fill in missing data automatically. I have rewritten the system for the public to add data from the NHC's recon archive and will adapt that code to be usable by the system that will check the NHC's recon archive occasionally. All of this will be managed by the system I am writing now. I have already planned out how much if it will work, including the new files needed to run it. These files will also eventually give more information on the front page, and live data pages by product and aircraft, that will give more information about the recon currently being performed.

I hope to have the new system online for the NASA Global Hawk missions which could start as early as the end of this month. Again, while track data for the Global Hawk will not be included in the new system, sonde data will be available in Google Earth as long as it is still transmitted across using NOAA's UZNT13 KWBC header.

Other features of the new recon system will come later in the year, into next year. I have yet to rewrite the older HDOB decoders, so Google Earth mapping of data from 2006 and earlier will not be available for awhile still. Google Earth mapping may be added back for data after that within the next month or two. Other new features coming to the recon system include live NOAA AXBT data and possibly delayed Air Force AXBT data. And of course the main feature still to come, likely sometime next year, live recon in Google Maps.

August 1st, 2014

Work continues on getting enough of the new recon system online to operate by the end of this month for NASA's GlobalHawk missions.

June 7th, 2014

I am working on getting enough of the new recon system online before the end of August in order to allow the system to process GlobalHawk dropsondes in real time for this year's HS3 mission. The new system will likely have little to no new features other than that until 2015. In fact, it will have less features than the operational system, with no Google Maps mapping, either in the live system or in the manual decoder. The live system will have Google Earth mapping. The primary system will remain the main system until sometime in 2015. Both systems would operate in real time during the HS3 mission. I'm not sure if the new system would continue to operate in real time after the month long HS3 mission.

I'm still not sure when I will process older recon data to create Google Earth files again. I have yet to work on the system that will eventually be constructed to do that.

June 1st, 2014

The operational recon system is now fully operational for the hurricane season, checking vortex messages, RECCO messages and Atlantic Air Force backup files (KBIX) for data. When in off season mode, it did not check these files. The site is now fully operational for hurricane season.

May 31st, 2014

I have once again revisited coding some of the recon system. So far this year I have worked exclusively on the new model system which will still take many months to complete. However, since that is definitely going to take a lot longer, the versions of the model system that are currently operating still work and testing of the new model system will take a lot of time once finished, I have decided to again work on both systems at the same time. I would really like to have the new recon system cover dropsondes from the NASA GlobalHawk in real time. Hopefully I will be able to get enough of the system working in time for that. The older recon system will remain operational until 2015 as the new system will have limited functionality until fully implemented later in 2015. Google Maps and Google Earth plugin mapping will not be available until 2015. Google Earth mapping would be made available in real time once the new recon system is operating in real time. It would be very prone to errors and outages.

It continues to make sense to work on both the model and recon systems simultaneously. They share some of the same coding and style. There is a planned addition of a new feature for the model system that will utilize something developed a few years ago for the Google Maps recon system that will still not be ready until 2015. The new feature for the model system, which may allow users to compare model data from prior runs, will need to utilize compressed json files. (This new feature may not ultimately pan out as it is in the very early development stage.) Using compressed json files is how the Google Maps recon system will eventually operate, although that technology will likely be implemented in the model system first if the new feature is successfully implemented in the new model system. However, it would be a good idea to study how it will be implemented in both systems as the mechanism for retrieving, uncompressing and making the data available for use will involve much of the same coding.

There remains a massive amount of work to do on both systems. I will provide updates on the progress of the new systems, most especially the new recon system, throughout the hurricane season. It is likely that by the end of 2014 the new and existing operational model and recon systems will run side by side, with the new systems available for testing and feedback and the older, operational, systems available for stability and the existing features that the new systems have yet to have implemented.

May 30th, 2014

All the links on the site were checked and updated as needed. Our Google Earth overlay file was also checked for broken overlays and updated.

May 13th, 2014

Due to coding backup methods to handle complexities with the "tcweb" folder in the past, its removal did not require too many changes in our model system. As a result, our model system is now back online, although it has moved temporarily. Our system already had the ability to force checking of the "btk" folder and with a little coding it was able to do so without first requiring a check of the "tcweb" folder. As for renumbering, we will have to wait until a storm is renumbered to determine if that is handled well. We previously had a method in place to attempt to renumber based on storm details rather than rely only on renumbering files in the "tcweb" folder. The newer model system currently being worked on offline should have better handling of renumbering. The new model system will be installed later this year. The older, operational system, will continue to update at its temporary location until the new system is installed where the old one used to be. Temporary redirects are in place.

May 12th, 2014

Our model and best track system will no longer operate until changes are made to our system to reflect changes made to the availability of certain raw best track files that our site has depended on to manage data. I do not currently have a timetable on when our model system will once again be operational. A rewrite of the model system has been underway all this year. I do not yet know if I will patch the old operational system, an older version of the new version that was not yet available on our site or rush the latest version of the system, with further updates and new features added later. The older data has been moved here so that it can remain accessible. It will remain there until the new system is about done, with the further updates and new features added, likely late in the year.

The problem is due to the "tcweb" folder no longer being available. Our site will no longer have access to the files that helped to determine what an invest was upgraded to for example. Our site will now need to check the "btk" folder and then determine independently, in real time, what an invest has been upgraded to. We do have features of our system that do both of those things, but as a backup. It will probably take some time to code it as the primary method and remove all sections of code that checked the "tcweb" folder, and eventually rewrite all of the sections of code, something I planned to do anyway.

As for new features in the model system, those are still in the planning stages and due to the required updates to be made, along with other rewrites of parts of the model system I am doing, it will be awhile before they are possibly completed.

I am very behind on the recon system. It is likely to be 2015 before it is done. It may be late in the year before I can once again get back to working on it.

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