Instant MessagingEnhanced CommunicationsFaith Borden & Darone JonesNWS Birmingham
Instant Messaging HistoryThe use of instant messaging has evolved and increased over the years.Started in 2000 at one office (Birmingham, AL).As of September 2006, 15 of the 32 offices (42%) in Southern Region were using some form of Instant Messaging.Offices outside of Southern Region? At least 8 offices from Central Region.
Instant Messaging continues to be a top best practice in Service Assessments.
It has been instrumental in detailing storm/event evolution to broadcasters which is in turn relayed to the public. Give the general public an increase in knowledge and saves lives.
Instantaneous exchange of warning information and storm reports in real-time during events. Emergency Managers and TV crews are reporting damage and relaying pictures minutes after happening.
With instant messaging...the professional communities work TOGETHER...talking in real-time...from radar scan-to-radar scan.Advantages of IM
Limitations of Previous IMChatroom was very unreliable with some users having difficulty entering and others getting removed randomly.
There was information duplication in the room, where a NWS forecaster would mention the products they were about to issue as well as state the issuance time of the product.
Some outlets did not allow the commercial chat clients within their network because some messaging software is adware. Chatrooms did not support the participation in multiple rooms. The effect was to have everyone pile into the same room where the amount of information was overwhelming. This was very ineffective for other media markets that covered a portion of the CWA.
If you were in a television market covered by more than one forecast areayou were just plain hosed.
IEMChat - A Solution for AllEach NWS Office has dedicated chat room and ability to support multiple chat rooms.
The chat room has a history function which allows you to see the last 40 lines of conversations when you join the room.
If you were to leave the chat room you dont have to be re-invited to join again, you can just log on.
A server keeps an archive of all chats that allows you to refer back to any event at any time.
Another attractive feature of this solution is that the chat protocol (Jabber), server (Jabberd 2.0), and client (Gaim) are all cross platform, Open Source, and very secure.
The chat room is frequented by an automated process (named iembot) that relays NWS issued products to the chat room automatically. The iembot is fully VTEC aware and alerts users to non-VTEC products like MCDs from SPC, hurricane statements from NHC, and even alerts when ASOS sites report severe wind gusts. This process average delivery time to the room is about 12 seconds from issuance.
Actual log from May 5, 2006
Actual log from May 5, 2006
IEMBot ExamplesBMX issues Severe Thunderstorm Warning for Montgomery [AL] till 6:30 PM CDT Followup statements (SVS) BMX cancels Severe Thunderstorm Warning for Elmore [AL] Special Marine Warnings MFL issues Marine Warning for Biscayne Bay, Coastal waters from Deerfield Beach to Ocean Reef FL out 20 nm [AM] till 8:45 AM EDT Non-precipitating warnings (requires VTEC) OUN issues Fire Weather Warning valid at Aug 18, 12:00 PM CDT for Comanche, Stephens, Garvin, Murray, Pontotoc, Coal, Cotton, Jefferson, Carter, Johnston, Atoka, Love, Marshall, Bryan [OK] and Archer, Clay, Wichita [TX] till Aug 18, 8:00 PM CDT SPC Mesoscale Convective Discussions (MCD) Storm Prediction Center issues Mesoscale Discussion #1836 SPC Tornado and Severe Thunderstorm watches Storm Prediction Center issues SEVERE TSTM watch till 17:00 UTC National Hurricane Center products National Hurricane Center issues ADVISORY #32 for HURRICANE GORDON ASOS extreme wind gusts WINNER,SD (KSFD) ASOS reports gust of 55 knots from SSE @ 0344Z KSFD 150353Z AUTO 16035G55KT 7SM FEW110 28/12 A2957 RMK AO2 PK WND 15055/0344 SLP991 T02780122 TSNO $ Local Storm Reports (LSR) Monroe [Turner Co, SD] emergency mngr reports TSTM WND DMG at 12:18 PM CDT -- 4 to 8 inch diameter tree limbs knocked down WFO optional links to NOW casts, RER statements, Flood warnings/statements, Hurricane Statements, others can be added. SJU issues Flood Advisory (FLS) NESDIS Satellite Precipitation Estimates (SPE) NESDIS issues Satellite Precipitation Estimates IEM provided SchoolNet wind gust alerts UNITED COMMUNITY _ BOONE [Boone County] SNET reports 55 MPH from the N @ 05:55 AM West Texas Mesonet wind gust alerts GRAHAM,TX (XGHS) ASOS reports gust of 52 knots from SSE @ 2110Z XGHS 162110Z 15033G52KT -RA 23/19 A3006 RMK AO1 T02280187 P0001 RH 080% Special Weather Statements (SPS) EPZ ISSUES THIS IS A REISSUE OF THE RIVER FLOOD WARNING FOR THE RIO GRANDE IN EL PASO for El Paso [TX] till 7:00 AM MDT
IM on the WAN (Southern Region)
Census data with the polygon warnings
CAP alerting (Common Alert Protocol) XML formatted messagesCAP alert messages can quickly launch Internet messages, news feeds, television text captions, highway sign messages, and synthesized voice over automated telephone calls or radio broadcasts.
Smarter Bot county and zone aware. This allows the user to program their area of interest.
Whiteboard capabilities - Visually express ideas and comments in a online/teleconference meeting. Stuff In the Works
Contact InformationDarone Jones or Faith Bordendarone.firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
465 Weathervane RoadCalera, AL 35040(205) 621-5650orDaryl HerzmannProgram Assistant Iowa Environmental Mesonetakrherz@iastate.edu
It has been a plan for some time to have our Emergency Management community join in this chat. We clearly understand that your offices work as mini-weather centers during times of significant weather.
With this new found chat client, we are now able to achieve this.
What you will be able to see in the chat is real-time information on storm trends and event evolution.
This type of information will provide keen insight into what the NWS warning forecaster is thinking during an event as well as enhancing your understanding on the science of storm structure.
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