Development continues apace on Ephemerata Weather Radar. The more I use it, the more I find things for it to do!

The web page now can handle as many scans as I can bring on line. In practical terms, that usually means as many as four, since more than that requires too many computers and too much bandwidth.

Recent changes: 1) the size of the images have been increased for better view. There is a limit to how big these can be due to how big the raw file is (NWS provides for a image spec of 600×550 px – so sizing without loss becomes a software function after the fact and has practical limits).

2) I am working on a mosaic display that presents current scan data for up to four radar products simultaneously, constantly updated. Due to screen limitations across different browsers and user monitor configurations, this has been a bit challenging.

Presently I am looking at panels for 1024×768 screen res (15-17in monitors), and a large display for 20″ and up (1600×1000 screen res). With the advent of of HD and widescreen, this presents interesting problems for conventional data display, as the proportions of these technical images have to be maintained within limits. For the moment, the 1024×768 panel is up in beta based on NEXRAD level III data, and can be invoked by clicking on “Mosaic” in the link line or under the Scan B image.

Parallel to this, I am also working on a Mosaic Snapshot. This will be a single point in time display used in certain special circumstances, and is not self-updating. Its intended use is where bandwidth resources are already stretched enough to preclude additional polling on multiple sites, or where a unique event has occured and a study panel is desirable. Updating will be on an ad hoc variable basis. An alpha version was tested during TD Erica satisfactorily.

3)Adding the auto-refresh feature solved the problem of the user having to reload the web page for current data, but created an interesting wrinkle for new users: the page resets while reading and working on the text material! Firefox and IE handle these resets differently (IE, not well at all), so this was a unacceptable nuisance. To resolve this, the text portion is now available as a separate window or tab selected at the beginning of the “How to use EWR” dialogue (selected from the link bar). If invoked as a window and you have a widescreen or multi-monitor setup you can hold the text window open while you scroll the scans.

For multi-display users, a version of Ephemerata Weather Radar is in development that breaks out the page in different windows. The current format is maintained to provide the greatest amount of accessibility across the largest number of platforms.

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