House Calls

The need for speed!

The National Weather Service is just about to wrap up a 2-year program known as the NOAA Integrated Dissemination Program, or IDP, to completely redo its network and transmission outlets of data, and it is very fast! The last thing to go onto the new network, the website, will be flipped over this summer. But what does all of this mean for AllisonHouse customers?

First of all, let’s take the new and stunning GOES-16 data. The current GOES-West and GOES-East satellites have a data feed of 2 megabits/second of data, and they just broadcast 4 channels of data..which is delayed by 10-15 minutes to process and get it to you. GOES-16 is a nearly constant stream of 30 mb/second, 15x the amount of data as the other satellites. And, being on brand new servers, processors and the new IDP network, it takes just a FEW minutes to process it and get it from GOES-16 to your computer screen…and of course, it transmits dozens of channels of extremely high resolution data!

We’ve also noticed this: for our Level 3 radar data customers, the data used to be delayed by minutes (and our subscribers let us know that). But now, thanks to their fast network connections, a fast radar processor at the radar site, and a fast data transmission broadcast known as NOAAport that we receive off of our satellite dish—we get the data 2-3 seconds after it starts to leave the National Weather Service forecast office, If you have GRLevel3 version 2.60, fire it up. Look at the base reflectivity at the lowest tilt. See those two times in the top right corner? The delay from the radar site to you should be 3 seconds or less!

All this to say: with the IDP switchover, as an AllisonHouse subscriber, you are seeing the data at essentially the exact same time the National Weather Service is, minus a mere few seconds. And with our extremely fast network systems and servers, we give you delays on our end that are on the order of milliseconds!

So, when you need the data…NOW…you see it as the Weather Service sees it, with negligible delay (I mean, we can’t overcome that speed of light delay, sorry!). But when you need to make weather decisions right now, and the data can’t be old…join us at AllisonHouse! We won’t delay in giving you everything in just about real-time. And that’s good, because we know for you, seconds count!

And if you want more information on the National Weather Services new, redundant and high speed networking and dissemination system that we tap into directly, click here:

GOES-16 is now available for testing!

Water vapor image from GOES-16

This low level water vapor image clearly shows a line of strong to severe thunderstorms across eastern Iowa, about to move into Illinois on March 6, 2017. Image from AllisonHouse Maps.

I remember how excited The Weather Channel was when GOES-8 was launched on April 13, 1994. They had a meteorologist down there watching it live, and were reporting it via—landline telephone. The video was courtesy of NASA, all in standard definition, of course. But the GOES-8 imagery…wow! 2 KM visible imagery just blew the mind. And having it every 15 minutes was just fantastic!

So now we’re up to GOES-16. Since that time, it can be said, I believe very accurately, that the new weather satellites that succeeded them were evolutionary. Sure, resolution got better…1 KM visible imagery, 4 KM Infrared imagery, and 8 KM water vapor imagery from our current satellites is something we take for granted; if we really want to, we can go every 5 minutes, and for special events, every 90 seconds. But all of those numbers are blown away with GOES-16. Just as, if not more importantly: the number of products from GOES-16 is light years above the older satellites.

Of course, 1/2 km visible resolution, 1 km IR, and 2 KM water vapor resolution are impressive. But the imager quality is so much better…pixels means nothing if the lens is of low quality! But look at all of these additional products we will be getting from this satellite:



But..GOES-16 also detects lightning in real-time, measures the geomagnetic field in space, and a lot more. Furthermore, there are products that are being developed! That’s right, the imager firmware can be upgraded from Earth. Here’s some products they are working on, to see if they will be valuable to the meteorological community:

Where Is AllisonHouse Data Used?

AllisonHouse weather data is used all over the United States. Whether it’s the weather enthusiast, city police departments, or professional meteorologist, our data is used all over the country, for a wide variety of uses.

The NCAA rules require that an outdoor sporting event is suspended immediately if lightning is within 13 miles of that event, and 30 minutes after the last thunderclap is heard. With AllisonHouse, a timely warning can be given to spectators and participants to protect them and get off the field in a safe and timely matter. And in the case of a large professional sporting event, it can take up to 30 minutes to evacuate everyone out of the exposed areas of a stadium. This data provides the critical decision-making intelligence needed to make the right call. And whether you are the safety director of the Daytona 500 Speedway, or a Little League coach or umpire, AllisonHouse can assist in keeping you safe when the storm is about to strike.

When an individual or team is assigned the task of monitoring the weather for a venue, event, or city, they immediately start evaluating their options for fast, dependable, weather data. This is what AllisonHouse specializes in; we will give you the data you need while also helping you set up your weather arsenal with the programs that utilize our data the best. For instance, if a stadium is needing to monitor the lightning threat for their area. We can provide the lightning data you need with range rings that will turn a color or your choice when lightning is within a distance of your venue’s location which you specify. With our high-resolution lightning packages, you even have the option to see the difference between cloud-to-ground strikes, and cloud-to-cloud. Whether it be the Daytona 500 Speedway, University of Texas, Tampa Bay Buccaneer’s Stadium tens of thousands of cheering fans may not be able to see or hear the storm coming. With an AllisonHouse subscription, venue managers and public safety officials can see dangerous thunderstorms approaching in real-time.

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Here are some of the notable venues and stadiums that use AllisonHouse data for their weather decision-making.

Daytona 500
Tampa Sports Authority/Raymond James Stadium (Tampa Bays Bucs, University of South Florida, 2017 National Championship Game)
University of Texas Sporting Events
Texas A&M Sporting Events
Boone Pickens Stadium (Oklahoma State Football)

If you would like to know more about how AllisonHouse data can help you, please contact [email protected]