Perhaps the only thing that could have pulled me away from my sweet-as-all-hell personal street level Doppler radar setup (more gushing on this in a second) would have been a Lowcountry Blogs meetup. It was great to meet up with everyone again — within walking distance, to boot. It was my first time ever going to Little Thai Too on King Street and the food was excellent. Great, great choice. :) It was, as always, a great time (this time devoid of a heartbreaking Charger playoff loss). As usual, our resident award-winning photo blogger Joan is first with photos. (I took the second picture on that page, by the way — and Joan has the most hardcore camera I think I’ve ever tried. I struggled to find the shutter button amongst the lot of ’em! :))
This was a good weekend, overall:
Friday was absolutely nutty with rescuing a web server and other things, so I felt as if the time was right to brush back up with some Linux server administration. To this end, I brought the rack-mount machine formerly known as briscoe (now known as sassything — don’t ask) back online (over a few glasses of Yellow Tail chardonnay). It’s only visible behind my firewall, though, and really, really needs to be hardened up a bit, if only for my own sanity.
Saturday began with ambitions of getting some school work done ahead of time. That didn’t work out too well. I did run up to my parents’ and took care of a few loose ends with my taxes, though. Then, I went to my co-worker buddy Greg’s house for his birthday (which was today). I had some badass ribs up there. Good times.
Today started in the afternoon with a text message about the threat of severe weather for today. I then proceeded to trick out my copy of GRLevel3 with all sorts of sweet stuff and basically watched thunderstorms roll through until the meetup. GRLevel3 is effing awesome. It takes Level III NEXRAD data from the National Weather Service and overlays it over a basemap, does animations, all sorts of stuff. The best part of this program is that one can take pretty much any GIS data you want and import it into the program. I was able to download a GIS shape file with roads in various counties in South Carolina, import those roads…and bam! Instant street-level Doppler, just like that. It’s freaking awesome. It costs $80 (I’m running the trial right now) and considering its power, it seems to be well worth the money. It does a great job monitoring warnings, shows a graphical view of warned areas (and whittles them away as the NWS issues warning updates), points out hail-producing and rotating thunderstorms, and gives you a bajillion different NEXRAD products for analysis. For a weather nerd like myself, this is pretty close to heaven on earth.
Mother Nature obviously wanted to make sure I got a thorough evaluation of the product today, as those storms that marched through were no slouches (though we only got a couple claps of thunder downtown). There were some tornado warnings earlier in the southern tip of SC (Jasper County, etc.), and I was able to pick up where the rotation was occurring on the radar. I highly recommend this for those with an interest in storm tracking (a lot of chasers like this software), because the ability to import GIS data makes this tool about as flexible as an Olympic gymnast.
And so Monday begins…one more wild and crazy week before Spring Break. I’ll make it.