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Friday, December 13, 2013


Got an email from Cape Coral FD Facebook page's admin advising that they weren't seeing ANY bulletins being sent to their FB page for quite a while. On checking our server logs, we saw no errors. Then again, we copuld confirm nothing going out to CCFD - including the daily ZFPs. On checking them again, we noted that the logs confirmed that other NWS FOs are sending out ZFPs, but there are NONE WHATSOEVER noted coming out of NWS Ruskin/Tampa. It was strange. Sent out a few queries to see if anyone else in EMWIN-land knew what was going on.

First time we'd ever encountered such an odd problem before. It was actually location specific.

On doing further research, it appears that NWS-Ruskin (Tampa) has changed quite a number of zone codes for numerous bulletins handled within it's CWA. Many zones which were previously handled as single counties have now been divided up into "inland" and "coastal". When they made the changeover on the 3rd, the old zone codes for the affected counties suddenly ceased working.

The new zone codes were updated into the server setup and all affected bulletins were again working with our system.

NWS had apparently sent out a Public Notification bulletin (PNS) about it but it slipped by us.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Error Corrected On AC-EMWIN Hurricane Graphics Index Page...

WHOOPS! Caught an error on our hurricane graphics index page and corrected it. We prepare the index page manually and if there's a confusing situation as happened with Hernando - where it died, then reformed again, and the NHC renames the old to TC-8 and starts a completely NEW set of bulletins for a newly-formed Humberto it throws off all the rest of the naming system on our page. So post-Humberto deformation, Humberto became TC-8, Ingrid became Humberto, and Jerry became Ingrid, etc. So we added an additional line of code to handle the TC-8 graphic, and then adjusted the numbering of all the subsequent graphics so that they were correct again. Sorry for any inconvenience. Was a pain in the butt for us, too. :)

Incidently, if anyone is good with web page coding and would like to submit to us some new code which might handle all that automatically and create a page that looks the same way it does now, we'd be glad to use it.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

AC-EMWIN Now Serving Cape Coral FD Facebook Page...

In addition to serving the Facebook pages of the Bradford County and Gulf County EMAs, we can now add the Cape Coral Fire Department to the list. All three EMAs are now receiving weather alerts from Alachua County SKYWARN's EMWIN program. So I guess we can officialy brag that we're serving the panhandle, north central, and south Florida areas. This is on TOP of already providing many people in the local area general public with weather alerts to their pagers, cellphones, and personal email accounts...ALL FOR FREE!!!

Not bad for an organization that begs NO money from people - claiming no dues, grants, or funding.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

ACEMWIN-HURR-L List Gets A Publicity Boost from NOAA...

It started with 842 hits to the ACEMWIN-HURR-L list web page in one day!!!

On Monday (7/15/2013), we had just 35 or so subscribers. On the very next day, Tuesday, we suddenly had 842 hits to the ACEMWIN-HURR-L page, and a total of 171 subscribers to the list! That's a jump of about 140 new subscribers...IN JUST ONE DAY!


[UPDATE: As of 7/25, the web site has seen nearly 2000 hits since the beginning of the month, and membership has reached to OVER 400 subscribers, now. The attention has waned drastically since the first few initially frantic days, down to an average increase now of about 10-15 new subscribers per day, with larger increases seen during periods of tropical activity. Can't complain.]

This, after NOAA listed us on a government web page of "alternate" informational weather bulletin sources across the US. Why? Recently NOAA/NWS sent out a notice (see here) that the free weather bulletin services offered by GovDelivery would soon cease as of July 31st.

It all started on July 10th. What called our attention to all the ballyhoo was quite a number of sudden odd hits from NOAA to the ACEMWIN-HURR-L list. (The ACEMWIN-HURR-L listgroup offers up a number of various types of NHC-issued hurricane bulletins, and offers users the power to customize WHICH hurricane bulletins they want to receive through the list. The list iteslf gets the bulletins from the server owned and run by the Alachua County EMWIN Project, which provides weather alerts to local area users for free as a public service.) That's when they put us on their list (see here). They must have been researching our listgroup, at first - which explains why all the suddenly noticed hits in the IP logs. Right after that they obviously added us to their list. Next thing you know, IP logs began showing HUNDREDS of people looking us up from all over the United States as well as across the globe. Especially attention grabbing were the hits from the US Department of State, and the Dept. of Homeland Security. Gotta make us feel proud. And of course even more hits come from people from all walks of life. We also can't help but notice all the subscriptions from entities from all those various islands in the Atlantic, too. Very interesting.

Makes yuh feel so good to see that. This kind of stuff just keeps happening with us. Other notable moments to make us proud came when Bradford County Emergency Management came to us with a request to send Bradford-related storm bulletins to their Facebook page, which was soon followed by Gulf County EM with the same request. On top of that, we're serving severe weather bulletins to the pagers, cellphones, and emails of many local and surrounding area users. We're also sending same to numerous different email listgroups, Facebook, and Twitter pages.

It makes you feel really proud. You work so hard to put something together so that it can be helpful in service to the public. You put your own money into it; your own blood, and sweat, and sometimes, yes, even tears. You ask for no money or attention or awards in return, and you get...THIS. This is proof that what we're trying to do is truly meaningful...that what we're doing is important. This kind of attention just makes it all worthwhile and it's *better* than receiving some silly piece of paper or a plaque of wood with your name on it.

This is wonderful. You work so hard. You're patient. Then it all WORKS...perfectly. And it helps people.

At the risk of sounding a little like the A-Team's Hannibal here (sigh)...I LOVE it when a plan comes together!

More information about the Alachua County EMWIN Project and all of the things that it now does, and what it can do for you, can be found at http://alachuaskywarn.org/emwin.

Alachua County EMWIN Project

Alachua County EMWIN Project
Free Weather Bulletins!