Great Opportunity

The severe winter storm that affected (and still affecting) the Midwest, South, Southeast, Mid-Atlantic, and Northeast, gave libraries in these regions a great opportunity to activate their service continuity plans. If you don’t have a plan, this is a good time to prepare for the next major service disruption. (Resources to help you can be found on our Writing Your Disaster Plan page.) If you did have a plan, how did it go? Would you change anything? If so, this is a good time to make those changes.

Here is a NOAA satellite view of the winter storm. Note the similarities of a hurricane. (Click on image to enlarge.)

Enlightening Info from the NWS

Our National Weather Service web site  is an incredibly rich place for exploring and locating a variety of climate/weather/safety information.  Today I found this page, S.E. US, Gulf of Mexico Weather, while looking for information about Hurricane Paula, which has been threatening the SE US for the past few days.  Check out all the radio buttons offered over the top edge of the map to see other views of the area, such as water temperatures, the radar loop, etc.  And click on any of the yellow icons on the map to open a window showing the weather and wave conditions at the observation site.  You can zoom in by clicking on any locality and you can select the “Cities” button, then click on the city you’re interested in to see local conditions.  This looks like a great tool for increasing awareness of possible weather-related emergency preparedness needs.

I found this site by selecting “Marine” under “Forecasts” on the main NWS page, then selecting “Portals.”  There are also marine maps there for the Great Lakes as well as the other US coastal areas.  Thanks, NWS!

Hurricane Map

This fascinating map from NOAA and the National Weather Service shows the tracks of all known hurricanes in the North Atlantic (1851-2008) and Eastern North Pacific (1949-2008).  To enlarge map, click on the image below.

Viewing Earl’s progress

Check out Stormpulse.com to see a great map featuring Hurricane Earl, but with the ability to view other storms as well.  The maps are pulling in lots of data from many reputable sources (National Hurricane Center, NASA, NOAA, and others) to provide layered maps of weather patterns and major storms in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans as well as the contiguous 48 states (see top menu bar on the site to switch maps).  On the Atlantic map particularly, be sure to click the “ON” buttons for Forecast Models and Clouds in the box in the upper right of the map to enhance the view of Hurricane Earl with additional layers.