WIWX Status Update - Mar 10, 2020
By Justin Poublon
March 10, 2020 - 11:16 AM CST | 23 0
Oldest son has been sick since Friday. Started with a ear infection, turned into sinus and cough. Long nights. Youngest in a sleep regression. The wife works long hours at the bar to help support the family so a lot of the disruption falls on my shoulders. Can't remember the last time I've slept well. It's a major struggle. You don't want to hear my excuses but this morning the first time I've had a chance to get anything going. Pushing the week back one day. I'm so excited for spring. I know it will eventually get better and the biggest challenge will be containing my enthusiasm for whats to come.
Storm Events are Member Only Again
I've reverted storm forecasts back to member-only. Just feels right. Think I overreacted to the forecasting struggles this winter. Working to build that confidence back. Constant balancing act.
Yearly Membership Option
I now offer a yearly membership option for $54 which is 10% off the monthly rate as I value the upfront long term commitment. Existing members can upgrade anytime but note it will overwrite existing payment schedule (not pro-rated). I've been monitoring the system closely but please let me know if you run into any problems.
Storm events database making a return
With slow weather continuing I've been exploring the harder to reach projects. The big project I expect to finish this week includes rebuilding the storm events database from five plus years ago. The older version probably had data hygiene issues and I didn't see much demand for it so I blew it away. One of those things that doesn't get much glory but it's very important.
I'm using the NCDC Storm Events raw data files which includes all tornado reports since 1950 and all severe weather reports since mid-1990s. It's an intensive project requiring a lot of data hygiene techniques, data massaging, and data manipulation. The raw files get quite large. It'll be located on it's own database. I have to construct an elaborate C# logic process to standardize/normalize all the variation/issues within the raw data. Also the logic process will allow the database to be easily updated in the future. I decided to create two data tables, one staging and one for production. Staging helps to see all the variation within the data so I can apply the final hygiene touches to production.
One of the issues is that tornado paths are separated by county and state. The untrained eye doesn't know this will lead to an over-count. So I have to reassemble tornado records for accurate state/yearly tabulations. Creates issues with which segment should be the parent? What is the tornado rating? Width, damage? etc. There's issues with duplicate records. Issues with text string containing column delimiters.
I want to use it for the April 10, 2011 case study for high quality report visuals. The NCDC dataset has many important purposes besides that. Unfortunately it feels like doing the same thing twice but I know this attempt will be better. This database will be the only one of it's kind in the world so that's cool. I go so deep into it. I like to think Increase Lapham would be proud.
ME vs. THE WORLD
I just felt the need to share what I'm working on and the struggles. With so much to do I find it interesting I have time to write this. Overall I'm happy with the forecast strategy lately. Getting into a bi-weekly rhythm (except this week there will only be one). Sometimes I feel like it's never enough and wonder if that's the trap all meteorologists fall into? The lack of support from family/friends is discouraging. I fear there are more people who wish me to fail than those who wish me to succeed. That's the nature of this endeavour. Naturally I'm fiercely independent so it's fitting. My needs are so specific nobody can relate, nobody can help. In the hard times it's easy to lose faith in yourself. I don't stop. Just keep pushing like I always have.
I'm so thankful for all of my members! I don't know what I would do without you. You give me reason to keeping pushing. I feel like you always have faith in me even when I don't have it in myself. I'm starting to feel like my back is against the wall. Me vs. the world. Like I have nothing to lose. The way I see it my life and survival depends on the next six months. To this point everything has kind of gone the way I expected it to. I'm so focused on what's next, feel like finally it's so close. Within reach but just can't grasp it. Me vs. the world is hopefully that lit extra push to turn ordinary into extraordinary.
Faith is restored with the right storm. It's so damn close.
Thanks for reading!