August Newsletter - Setting Ourselves Apart
By Justin Poublon
August 24, 2018 - 9:00 AM CST | 11 0
Wisconsin Weather is a non-profit organization offering alternative weather information and entertainment. Leaders in the weather community, our team members driven by passion contribute on a voluntary basis. We advocate for storm chasing which inspires individual leadership and helps the prepare public when severe weather occurs. We produce forecasts for a rapidly growing community of 16,300 likes on Facebook, 280+ website members, and a new group called Wisconsin Weather Nation. We also manage massive storm video libraries online with hundreds of storms intercepted and documented collectively.
Here are some of the new things you will see around WISCONSINWX.COM:
- *HRRR Simulated Radar Maps - Single biggest addition since we started creating Wisconsin composite maps! There is a new page dedicated to this called "Models" under the forecast tab. This will make social media forecasts MUCH easier without having to do weird crops of maps from other websites. These maps are free to share on your website and social media groups (shout out would be appreciated!). (psst... we have GIF loops too😉)
- *Hazardous Weather Outlooks - Implemented an outlook system for all weather hazards! Outlooks are available for days 1-3 only including a discussion should we choose to write one. We are keeping this very simple to start and will expand functionality based on our yet to be determined needs. I also adding the Day 1 outlook to chase maps, interactive map, and home page. We will make outlooks when we can. In the future some or all of the outlooks may be reserved from members only.
- *New Lightning Bolt Logo - The old logo with the tornado in WIWX was great but it's time for a change. Our new logo is more generically symbolic, a black lightning bolt with yellow/gold background. We have far more to offer than tornadoes and we don't want to limit our logo to just Wisconsin either. The new logo gives us space to expand and use it for more things. It really is a symbol of the next chapter in WIWX history! Another change was to the color: yellow gave me an anxious feeling but the golden yellow feels better.
- Website Header Improvements - with the new logo we FINALLY reached a happy place with website header and navigation. The old login, log out button has been moved to the profile (head and shoulders icon in the nav menu) might take some getting use to. Notifications button has been relocated. We are pretty close to perfect now from the nav menu up. Love the way it looks! Also reverted the css style on storm alerts.
- *Green Bay Climate Graph - Huge project inspired by the arctic sea ice graphs of the Danish Meteorological Institute, orientated by winter year. This is an attempt to visualize short term climate trends. Winter year starts/ends on July 1 and belongs to the winter we are going into, so we are currently in WY 2019. It is a major effort to get the data together for this and just another thing that sets our team apart.
- Improved Blog Style - For a long time we struggled with where to put the featured image. Happy to save we found a symbiotic solution. Just feels right.
- Comfort Index Maps - Legacy product that we've brought back. Still working out the best presentation. A color bar would be nice!
- New Map Header - Needed to be better and now it is.
- Regions - awhile back I decided to merge SE and SW Wisconsin into one region. We've separated these back out to better align with our future plans.
- *Chaser Network - We are building a volunteer Network of Wisconsin Weather Official Storm Chasers who contribute live storm video and updates to the facebook page and website for informational and entertainment purposes. Chasers will work together with the Team Director and Admins to provide the best live weather coverage in the world. Chasers can post live storm chasing information, photography, and video directly to the Wisconsin Weather facebook page. Involvement also includes inclusion into our chase map products with special notation and mentions during live facebook broadcasts. Limited but critical role to the overall operation of Wisconsin Weather. Click here for more info!
- Overall Map Graphics Update - On several maps I changed the background colors to make Wisconsin pop. The warning legend on the right side of our classic maps looks different now too, by doing so I was able to make the Wisconsin regional view tighter.
- Chase Map Improvements, including GIF loop changes.
- Began work on the new weather alert system! Expect major improvements in future updates. In the meantime email alerts have been turned off.
- Removed very old member accounts (last login prior to 1/1/2015)
- Our resources and links page is getting pretty big! Spread the love by checking out these great resources!
- Fixed issue with member thumbnails always showing my thumbnail (whoops!)
- Improved the admin blog tool to help prevent weird glitches. Authors were writing entire posts within the caption of an image attachment unknowingly lol.
- Numerous small changes across the website.
Until very recently with record setting floods in southern Wisconsin, it has been a slow slow slow summer so I've have been work work workin on the website. We are definitely entering a new chapter in Wisconsin Weather history! We made a big stride forward in this update. I will be taking a couple weeks off of development, or try to anyway. We are going in a different direction in future updates.
POSITIONS AVAILABLE - Social media, meteorologist, storm chasers, authors. I am looking replacement myself actually lol. If you think you can be me, please send contact us! Seriously! I'm not going anywhere, just need a doppelganger to run the day to day while my role shifts.
We want to get more people involved at Wisconsin Weather! All platforms including our website. Right now it's mainly social media and day to day forecasting operations that will need help. We also have a platform for authors to write stories about things other than just weather (with a weather connection of course). Please share with anyone you think might be interested and encourage them to send me an email!
Meteorology degree is preferred but demonstrated experience will work too. Participation in our group is and has always been 100% voluntary. We do this simply because we are passionate about it. There will be an application process and requirements to follow. We want to keep pushing and growing for years to come while preserving our alternative, unique, and accurate perspective on weather events. This is the first step forward.
If you have any questions, concerns or come across any critical errors, please contact us! You will need to clear your cache to see the new changes. As always, thank you for supporting our website!