Monday, November 06, 2006 - We have had our ups and downs with this major server transfer but we are back up and fully operational. We are now running on full unix (BSD) computers with Raid 5 backup capability - which means total reliability from now on out. Glendaproject.org will be back shortly. We decided after numerous issues to move our servers to a news network for better connectivity. This increased capacity and space from http://pullman.net will work better with our servers here in Petal, MS. You will note a few of our data links are not working...we are working to resolve these issues as we speak. Our prime goal is to put the data online in live time from our facilities rather than upload to the server with the website. So bear with us as we work out these issues.
Wednesday, August 9, 2006 - I one of the biggest pet peeves I
have is Microsoft Windows updates....u tell them to download and not install....and
it does that....it just freezes the machines other programs till u do
the install....grrr! Not bright Bill! Most of the storm center gear runs
on Linux so this is not an issue most of the time.
Saturday, August 5, 2006 - Summer continues in the deep south
and its hot....97F at noon. Area #2 has moved west and as I predicted
exploded when it got complete circulation in the Gulf:
24 hours of convection and it looks impressive on radar. I watched the building last evening as storms just to the south of here were exploding...several 1000 feet per minute in growth.Chris has faded as it travels north of Cuba but I suspect if it holds its rotation together it will build in the Gulf rather rapidly. Another area of interest with circulation appears to be forming just behind it...... it may be a very interesting week ahead.
Thursday August 3, 2006 - the one things about the tropics is that you never know what will happen. Models have been really off on Chris. The fact that there has been a NE flow of air ahead of the storm with a rotation area moving to the west, as well, makes for some most interesting predictions. The fact that Chris wound up to near hurricane strength and then rapidly dropped shows the potential for a major hurricane this season. Chris is still making its way towards the Gulf....and if the area holds together it will pickup strength very rapidly.....hard to predict....but thats why its call research...............
Tuesday August 1, 2006 - Storm Season - it's showtime! For the past month I've been monitoring the replaced gear and so far its been pretty stable. There have been a few anomalies in data but that seems to be disappearing. Emergency power backup units are in place and new additional communication gear will be onsite within 10 days. Should be just in time as the tropics are coming alive. TS Chris plus three other areas of concern are shown on the pic below. This does not show activity east to Africa which is also picking up steam. The emergency supplies and plans have been reviewed on this end and are in place ready to activate. Initial track of Chris would put it in the Gulf around the weekend. Of more concern to Florida would be area #2 which has picked up dramatically in the past 24 hours. All 4 areas have rotation. Area #3 is being pushed south by high pressure in New England ....super hot air in place there. At this stage of things anything is possible. I expect area #4 to pickup intensity - its been trying to build for several days. The next week should be interesting.....got your supplies in?
Sunday June 25, 2006 - Magnetic readings are again functioning since Friday. Unit arrived at 4:30pm and was online at 4:33pm and functioned properly. Timing was good as we had a stationary thunderstorm for five hours. Friday also saw the Pullman Point automated weather data go back online at hamweather and the weatherunderground. Watching the Atlantic closely this week....possibility appears to exist of multiple tropical storms forming at the same time. Florida currently getting rain from storm that simply didn't wind up. BTW wefax data has been spotty this week...seems they are having problems again in NO. Also Mobile weather radar has been off line all week. Based on the messages appearing on their website it would appear that the system has failed miserably with massive parts failure. Better now than a few more weeks into the season. Pullman Point Weather Research Facility is fully ready for the hurricane season with standby generators in place and supplies - lets just hope we don't have another Katrina in the near future. Oh yah forgot to mention the weather server was upgraded over the past month to a state of the art unit and we have rapid-fire now available on the weatherundergound.com website for Petal. Also you will find expanded contact information for our operations - you can contact both the stormcenter and stormchasers via MSN when online. Also ham radio communication systems are in place to supplement the other com links.
Thursday June 22, 2006 - Back online with the replacement Lacrosse station today....came in yesterday and is now installed. Its hot close to 100...readings appear a little off at the moment so I will attempt to increase the shielding on the sensor unit this evening. While the unit has extra shielding in place, it apparently still needs some work since accuracy is the name of the game. The data logger from Dataq gave up the ghost this week for a second time......replacement unit should be in tomorrow so the magnetic readings should be back online on Saturday. Dataq indicates that failure of the units is unusual. Air conditioning in the master control room went online on June 16th - considering how hot things have been this will be a major improvement for gear stability. Also we have now added multi-band ham capability to the chase vehicles. This complements the other links on board.
Monday June 12, 2006 - Currently waiting for weather station return from Lacrosse Technology. The return has been sent to them so when they send a replacement unit we will be able to resume the Pullman Point automated weather data. Currently we have wefax, wesat, and magnetic readings being updated on regular intervals throughout the day. Spectrum analysis is in live time (ok 3 second delay). Big news is that the master control room operation and studio building are now air conditioned. Insulation and renovations for sound proofing will improve things but at least the temp is better for the computers. Audio is also available on the cams for those interested in hearing things really live. Analog temps, wind, etc gear is functioning so we have full operations here - just not automated updates. Data logging on magnetic is providing interesting recordings...still going to take some time to figure out. Lacrosse has indicated up to three weeks on the return. So for those of you wondering about we will return with the automated info as soon as possilbe.
Saturday May 20, 2006 - The Lacrosse 2310 serial port connetion has died - that means no data is going from the master unit to the server and out to the internet. The 2310 has been (frankly) pretty flakey since it was put online. I've contacted Lacrosse again to see if we can get the unit replaced under the warranty. In the meantime this means that there will not be automated information supplied on the internet from Pullman Point. A worst case scenario for the return of weather data (either with a replacement Lacrosse unit or I'll go buy an Oregon Scientific unit) will be a week and a half.
Satellite photos - we've got them - multiple catches per day and uploaded to the website. Also magnetic data is back - the Dataq logger replacement unit is online (original went south after one week)...so we are making progress in some areas. New batteries will be here shortly for the military weather station for the chase vehicles.
New Orleans fax data has been a little rough the last few days (that after weeks of good pics)...its as if their transmitter is on mini-power. That coupled with the fact we had a 3 hour power failure early last week makes me think the infrastructure in this area is hardly ready for another hurricane season....and for all intents and purposes that is here.
Webcams now have sound available as well as the video....tis a slow and very old server so be patience....no special software is necessary as its a java feed (get the latest from sun.com).
Tuesday April 25, 2006 - Making progress! Wefax data out of New Orleans is improving...I've finally got the frequency locked on hard and the signal strength tops out the meter. So you might ask why are some of the pics rough? Simple....I don't control the content and I suspect they are still having some issues on data transmission lines - also since this location is about 110 miles from NO at night that is sufficient for bounce of the signal - mother nature at its best. Also weather conditions can affect reception - unlike most modern transmission systems wefax is WWII technology. However it gets data through that is unique from the standard tv news.
I've locked down the communication network here for the server by switching out the Dlink router with a Linksys....this is the 3rd Dlink unit to give me problems in the last year. Since the transmission of data is dependent on connectivity you should see an improvement in reliability. I have as yet to switch the weather station sensor unit - to come.
Wednesday April 19, 2006 - WEFAX data has been online since Sunday however ironically the New Orleans transmission station is having phone line problems (http://www.nws.noaa.gov/os/marine/radiofax.htm - "Apr 14, 2006 - The New Orleans radifax broadcast is intermittant due to a problem in a telephone line. The U.S. Coast Guard is investigating. ") As a result reception of the information is coming in on a partial basis - in other words only part of the picture. It has been observed on this end that the transmission of data stops before the entire document has been transmitted. When you check this website for the wefax files you will currently find that files sizes are very small...once they have resolved the issued on their end full docs will be of much larger size files. Reception is excellent with the new 100 ft LW antenna which was put in place over the past weekend. Currently files are uploaded to the website in batches at 6AM and 6PM. You will have to scan the list for the latest docs.
The EMF reception has been stabilized - I found a broken wire in a plug which currently now has a temporary fix. Progress is taking place on the installation of the software and hardware to put the information online. I'm still attempting to determine the parameters to define the data collection aspects. Weather sat data is still pending - just a matter of locating the soldering iron :) The new sensor unit for the weather station has arrived....hopefully this weekend on installation. Still trying to stabilize a Dlink router....it wants to reboot on its own every so often - can't tell if its the comcast router to the Dlink or the Dlink.....this is affecting transmission of weather data every so often.
Thursday April 13, 2006 - WEFAX data is expected to be online this weekend. There is now 9 days of material successfully received. FTP uploads of the material will be on a regular schedule here shortly. Radiation monitoring went into place this past weekend....forgot to mention that. An online version will be forth coming. This weekend will see the installation of the weather satellite data collection system as well as the EMF data systems. I'm sure some refinement will be necessary on the data uploads but the main gear is expected to be fully functional shortly. Its also full moon today. I've also been making some refinements on the mobile chase vehicle...it now supports a fully functional data retrieval system in addition to its extensive instrumentation. A look at the calendar shows its roughly six weeks to hurricane season - frankly I expect storms to start within a few weeks and expand - and I suspect worse than last year. We'll have plenty of data to start doing the analysis here shortlly.
Monday April 10, 2006 - Friday came and went with very little notice...all the really exciting weather was much further north. By the time the front came through here 6AM on Saturday it was nothing more than a very clouds. The installation of the instrumentation on the dock has been fortified and should be rock solid. Just waiting on the sensor unit to arrive. In the meantime the control room of the center has been progressing well with some instrumentation going online over the weekend. The wifi omni external system is now fully operational. Data from the New Orleans WEFAX operation is being received daily and has been for the past 4 days. Its simply a matter of arranging for the data to be available on our website in automated format shortly. Progress is continuing on the weather satellite receive antenna installation as well as a modification of the EMF gear. EMF reception is operational - the tie in to the computer network will be shortly. Overall the weekend has been pretty good - didn't accomplish all goals but definitely have made progress.
Thursday April 6, 2006 - Progress moves forward and some things are coming together yet we have a few basic issues. The Lacrosse station has been giving me a fit for hard wire communication....while the line is verified to function between the dock and the office (via phone tests) the actual sensor won't talk to the master station at all. So I have been in contact with Lacrosse Technology to seek a remedy. I had expected to have the system operational over the past weekend however no luck on the setup so we were off line for two days. In order to get back online by Tues a cat5 line to the back building, which is being rennovated for studios, had to be hooked up and functioning. Further tests under Lacrosse instructions did not bear any results. However Lacrosse has a new sensor unit enroute which should remedy the problem. In the meantime the master unit is in the studio control room window doing a line of site with the dock instrumentation and supplying data over the WIFI connection. So for those wondering why the system has been up and down now you know why. One other thing when you are looking at yesterday's baro readings the evening shift up is actually from readjusting from raw to the area altitude actual reading...not a major weather event. As soon as the new sensor unit gets here things should be stable.
Got the wefax short wave system operational last evening....this will make weather data feeds from New Orleans Marine Weather available for viewing.......I still have to hook up a long wire antenna to the system to improve reception. Also the EMF system should be operational later tonite.....data from these will be online hopefully by the end of the weekend. Weather here Friday may be sporting!
For those wondering where Pullman Point is located here is a 1998 Sat photo modified with the location marked:
The circle is the location of the instrumentation and this is the view looking west:
This is the Pullman Point Weather Research Facility (looking from the north end of the point in the lake southwards) - the control room/studio building is on the left.
Also on Wednesday the west cam caught this approaching weather front:
Monday March 20, 2006 SUPERCELL with TORNADO - Spring arrived with a roar on Monday (the 20th)...major tstorms and multiple tornado reports. NWS reported one tornado tracking just 10 miles north from our Petal, MS location and 10 miles south of Ellisville. We were monitoring our online webcams while on the road and managed to catch photos of the supercell on both the west and east looking cams as well as a capture off the east live video feed. Twas an amazing site. Our weather gear also recorded the exact arrival of the system. Below are the screen captures and the data files:
Monday March 14, 2006 - finally decided to take the plunge and purchase the Ambient Weather VWS software package for internet....so as of today its the full version online; the deciding factor was that the last two bug fixes of the past week eliminated the reliance on the Heavy Weather package that works with the Lacrosse station. I was still unsure about the package as it had been crashing unexpectedly over the past week. I've taken two actions to attempt to cure the problem (the new full edition) and I've installed an extra fan in the Dell GX1 for a little added cooling. As an older computer there might just have been enough extra drain from the 250gig HD.....the unit would not reboot after a crash for about 15 minutes...a true sign of overheating. The unit appears to be a little happier. The system did go down over the weekend; the video feed on one of the cameras dropped when the plugs came apart (high winds)......now taped solid and functioning.
I've improved the signal between the computer and the network (WIFI); I've also strung the cat5 cable between the outside unit and the facility - cable still has to be buried and put into operation. Also the cat5 cable has been strung back to the shop control room - still to be buried and hooked up. One might be wondering why there is a lot of testing going on and some temporary setups...this is still due to many resources still being applied to Katrina cleanup and the associated manhours necessary to get things accomplished. However we are making progress. I expect to have the wefax data online later this week.
Tuesday February 21, 2006 - one month to spring officially - Still trying to stablize some of the rain guage readings - zero'd out the totals on the station and checked the actual instrument again. Found the actual case was on backwards so the situation rectified. Still no rain to check to verify operational. I've noticed some spikes in the wind speed around noon the past two days....single data readings around 60mph.....I believe these are anamolies of the transmission software or the actual station itself; though it is possible the readings are accurate. My question would be what is happening to kick the wind up to such a speed? Wings of a flapping bird or bug? Or some type of wind generation from the lake and the sun? Maybe gas leaking from the ground under the water? OK OK I know I'm stretching it but the readings are just plain strange.
Two more buttons have been added to the menu selections - one for the EMF Spectrum analysis, and the second for gamma radiation recording (yes there is equipment in house to do this measuring; you might ask why? Well Mississippi does have a nuke plant but that is not the main reason - the nuke bomb tests in Mississippi were carried out in salt domes just 21 miles SW of Hattiesburg (which is 6 miles west of our location....so about 30 miles SW of the research facilities' location). You can find a link to the Salmon and Sterling Nuclear Tests in the local links section of this website.
Sunday February 19, 2006 - First Blog Entry - Welcome to the Pullman Point Weather Research Facility Blog. The purpose of this blog is to keep visitors to this website up to date on activities. So who is writing this blog? Just call me Bob. This weather research facility is located on Pullman Point which sticks out from the south side of Twin Lakes on the east side of Petal, Mississippi, USA. This is a new facility which has developed from the growth of an original prototype storm center which was located on the west side of Hattiesburg, MS during 2005 - a transition to the Petal location was officially supposed to take place on September 1, 2005 - or as locals call it day 2 after Hurricane Katrina. Since Katrina recovery has been a slow and laborious path to setup operations to a fully functional facility - In the past few weeks a lot of the intial goals have been accomplished. As well as the weather research facility of Pullman Geosciences, which is expanding weekly with the addition of instrumentation, the control room for Bluegrass Music Television (http://pullman.tv), and the recording studio(under construction) for Big Bob's Window Cleaning and Recording Co.is also located in this complex.
On the walls of the Wood Hudson Cancer Research Laboratory (http://woodhudson.org) in Newport, Kentucky there hangs a sign which says "bad data is no data". So with this golden rule for research I have been endeavoring to ensure that our data collection methodology is sound. As of 5pm of todays date I feel that our instrumentaiton is now setup to supply the data channels functioning accurately.
Current data online comes from a LaCrosse 2310 weather station. The wind speed and direction instrumentation is located on a pole attached to the end of the dock on the north end of the grounds (see the live cams - click the green triangle for streaming - note this unit is on a wifi connection and will be eventually cat 5 to improve connectivity) - this is a good location to obtain data which is not affected by the large number of surrounding pine trees which cover the grounds. The rain gauge is located at the south end of the dock. Both instruments send data by line cord to a sensor unit located at 69ft from the wind unit and 44ft from the rain gauge and placed about 12 feet above the ground. This permits a clear wireless shot from the sensor unit to the actual weather station receive unit located about 100 feet to the south. The dock is about 10 feet below the main level of the grounds and previous wireless transmissions from the end of the dock to the station were not reliable during heavy rains. So hence the sensor unit move. It was also found that a previous line cord length of 69ft with the rain gauge exceeded reliable data transmission - the manufacture recommends a max line length of 64 feet or faulty data transmissions may result and tests have shown that this is accurate. The rain guage was moved from the far north end of the doc to the south end eliminating 25ft of line cord. Note rain gauge readings earlier today are actual tests by pouring water through the instrument to verify data transmission. Also note that the wind speed data at the same period of time is firm...this due to the reworking of the data lines. The sensor unit houses temp and humidity instruments as well as the wireless data feed. So I think its safe to say that readings from this point forward should be accurate.
The actual weather station is hooked to an old 333mhz Dell GX1 computer (320meg memory with a 250gig HD) and currently utilizes a Dlink wireless card to connect across the complex to the computer network - this connection will eventually be supplemented with a cat 5 cable ensuring improved preformance (this will be done prior to the attic heat of the summer). You will note that there are several buttons on the website which are currently not showing data. Equipment is in house - however due to the slow recovery process from Katrina the gear hasn't been placed back into service...this is taking place daily and the facility should be fully operational soon. Data which will be available will be WXFAX (short wave weather transmission information sent on regular schedule), WXSAT.(pictures from satellites in polar orbit which come over daily), EMF BURST (data from ground based instruments located here which monitor the atmosphere and specifically electrical discharges in Thunderstorms), and EMF MAGNETIC (data from instrumentation (Trifield Natural Meter also known as a ghost detection meter) located here monitoring the earths magnetic field and related areas). Couple this information with a super computing cluster and telecommunication gear and you have one of the most advanced atmostpheric research facilites in the deep south - all operational one again just in time for this years tornado and hurricane seasons. Oh yes, for on the road data collection check out the chase team vehicle which has full on the road laboratory instrumentation and cell data communication systems.
This blog is your direct route to whats happening at the Pullman Point Weather Research Facility and on the road chase team activity. Feel free to drop an email with comments or suggestions or any general question to: msstormchaster at hotmail.com Note: You will need to convert this email address to the correct format by changing at to the at sign - this is necessary to slow down spam. If you have MSN Messenger this is also our on the road direct link for messages to the chase vehcile (and sometimes direct video transmissions). Now the disclaimer.....any information found on this website should not be used for planning or any activity where life and limb is at stake....use official weather channels for that...read the website usage page for further info.
Updates to this blog will be made as situations warrant and not necessarily on a regular basis. Enjoy.
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