Monday, July 20, 2015

Tornado-Specific Alerting

In North America, tornadoes can be a real...problem. Their geographic pattern and seasonal trend is something I think a lot about here, from the perspective of understanding risk -especially on behalf of organizations that have people scattered all over the place.
Considering how many drug stores of a certain variety exist on corners across the United States, you quickly realize that at any moment in the summertime, there is probably a tornado bearing down on one -a location filled with employees and customers.

The path of a storm cell over the weekend, spawning several warning zones of relative tornado risk. These boundaries are used to trip alerting rules in the event of people and assets in their path.

Weather alerts are ok, but generally they are too general. Working with the team from Weather Decision Technologies, we've pulled in their tornado forecast cones as alertable geometries (as optional low, medium, and high-risk plumes). Based on the current conditions of a storm, the forecast-modeled zones swipe out a predicted impact area which can then be used to trigger on-site notices to employees and response teams in the event of an approaching tornado.

Here is an animation of the alerting areas as the storm cell moved east through the Midwest. These zones were used to notify folks ahead of the danger.

Tornado risk zones trigger alerting rules as a storm cell rolls eastward, notifying folks and response teams ahead of the event.

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