Oklahoma Ham Helps Develop New Winter Weather App for NOAA
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL), in partnership with the University of Oklahoma (OU), has launched a free app -- mPING (mobile Precipitation Identification Near the Ground) -- with which users can anonymously report precipitation from their Apple or Android mobile device. Simply select the type of precipitation that is falling at your location and press Submit -- your location and the time of the observation are automatically included in the report.
“mPING gives the public a unique opportunity to act as citizen scientists, allowing them to report their observations of precipitation -- such as snow, rain, ice pellets or a mix -- in real time,” said Principal Investigator Dr Kim Elmore, N5OP. Elmore, an ARRL Life Member, is a Research Meteorologist with the NOAA Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies (CIMMS) at OU.
According to NOAA, NSSL and OU researchers will use the mPING submissions to build a valuable database of tens of thousands of past and real-time observations from across the United States. Elmore said that because this nationwide information will be instantly available on the project’s website, “we believe it will be useful for not only researchers, but a variety of groups, including students and teachers, forecasters, TV meteorologists, members of the transportation and aviation industries, city managers and law enforcement.” Elmore told National Public Radio’s All Things Considered that he estimates about 20,000 people have downloaded the mPING and nearly 60,000 reports have been submitted.
mPING is available at no charge on iTunes or Google Play for use on phones and tablets. Watch a short mPING “how to” video on YouTube. You can also listen to Elmore talk about mPING on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered. -- Thanks to NOAA and NPR for the information