Utilizing Google Earth as a GIS platform for weather applications
The National Severe Storms Laboratory has begun utilizing Google Earth as a way to share experimental severe weather products with other researchers and operational meteorologists for evaluation and feedback. A variety of multi-sensor severe weather products are generated by NSSL and shared to Google Earth users via the internet at http://wdssii.nssl.noaa.gov. These products include spatially gridded fields of Vertically Integrated Liquid, Maximum Expected Hail Size, tracks of circulations derived from Doppler velocity data, composite reflectivity, and 30-to-60 minute forecast reflectivity fields, among others. These products, which have a spatial resolution of approximately 1 km by 1 km, are generated every one or two minutes within the Warning Decision Support System – Integrated Information (WDSS-II). The WDSS-II system provides the images in GeoTIFF format which may be imported into most Geographic Information Systems software including Google Earth.
The presentation shows examples of products generated within the WDSS-II framework that are available for viewing in the Google Earth application, and demonstrates the process by which researchers can share their work with other Google Earth users via the internet.