2″ Hail South East of Kansas City, MO on 3/27/2014

Lots of hail activity was reported south east of Kansas City on 3/27/2014. Jefferson City, MO and Columbia, MO were impacted the most. This hail storm lasted for over 7 hours and we received over 50 spotter reports.

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Announcing the Hail Map Locator

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Today, we are announcing our new Hail Map Locator!

How does the Hail Map Locator work? Go to HailStrike.com, type in a city or address, and hit enter. A list of the most recent hail activity within 25 miles of that location will appear in the results. Quickly view an overview image of each storm before you decide to purchase a map. Or better yet, with an active HailStrike subscription you can immediately view paths of any hail storm reported by the Nexrad Radar Network within the last 5 years, anywhere in the lower 48. Finding areas to work has never been this easy, simple and fast.

Give it a try:  HailStrike.com

Damaging Hail Storms of 2014

Our always up to date list of the most damaging hail storms for 2014:

We want to help you find hail damage!

Sign up or give us a call: 972-638-7225

HailStrike 3.1.1 Release Notes

We’ve been hard at work since releasing HailStrike 3.0, and we’re happy to announce that a new version of HailStrike is live and ready for use here: app.hailstrike.com

New Features:

  1. Spotter report queries once again have demographic information, and should be much faster from now on. Be on the lookout for population and housing units, etc., when you click on a spotter report!
  2. History queries should be faster and more accurate for zip code searches, as it now provides results only for a specific zip code, rather than a zip code’s entire county.
  3. Paths date range queries will now show the user whether there was a hail spotter report within the search radius for the dates returned.
  4. The “Get Centered Address” button has returned. Use this to center your map over a house and click to get the nearest address.
  5. Times displayed have been converted to the local time of where the event took place. So, whether you are East Coast, West Coast, or anywhere in between, you will see events in your area in your local time.
  6. The ‘Help’ screens have been updated to reflect the changes since HailStrike 3.0.
  7. Reactive design: The app is now usable on a variety of screen resolutions. Try it out on your tablet and let us know what you think!
  8. Two URL shortcuts have been added:
  • append ?satellite to the app URL, and satellite mode will be enabled by default.
  • append ?history to the app URL, and history mode will be enabled by default.

Bugs Fixed:

  1. An issue where the list of alerts would not update when adding new alerts until page refresh has been fixed.
  2. Saves in History mode for non-zip code modes should load correctly now.
  3. Occasionally paths would not show after clicking ‘SHOW PATHS’ button on hail spotter rows in history mode. This has been fixed.
  4. Several other minor visual issues were fixed.

Please let us know if you have any trouble with new features, or encounter any bugs, by emailing support@hailstrike.com.

If you do not see any of these new features right away, clearing your browser’s cache should resolve that.  See here for how to do so.

CASA’s Great Undertaking

casa1We are reminded every year of the great need for tornado early warning systems. This year Oklahoma endured widespread devastation in Moore and witnessed the record breaking EF-5 monster that passed along El Reno’s doorstep. You may have wondered, “Why aren’t we able to track tornadoes by radar?” The answer to that question is eloquently put on CASA’s website.

“Today’s weather forecasting and warning systems utilize data from high-power, long-range radars that have limited ability to observe the lower part of the atmosphere because of the Earth’s curvature. This means that meteorological conditions in the lower troposphere are under-sampled, leaving us with precious little predicting and detecting capability where most weather forms.” CASA’s plan is to place networks of smaller, short-range radars that won’t be affected by Earth’s curvature and objects that can easily block long-range radar like tall buildings and mountains.

This network of smaller radars will fill in the gaps missed by their bigger brothers, allowing those monitoring them to actually track tornadoes and give early warning to those in harm’s way, and that’s only the beginning of the potential of CASA’s radar network. Make no mistake, this is a monumental project.

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Since the short-range radars only cover a few miles, dozens would be needed just to provide a single city with enough coverage to be effective, but that doesn’t seem to be slowing CASA down. CASA is actually a collaboration between multiple universities across the U.S. CASA even has members abroad including the University of Puerto Rico and the Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Prevention (NIED) of Japan.

CASA has more than a few obstacles before them in pursuit of a better way to track tornadoes, but they understand the challenges before them and are taking them head on.

Strange Radar Activity Over Huntsville, Alabama

On June 4th, 2013, a strange blob of radar activity appeared in Huntsville, Alabama. Local weather meteorologists were surprised, to say the least, when what they originally thought was a popup storm appeared on radar.

Matthew Havin, data services manager at weather technology company Baron Services, told LiveScience in an email that they were receiving calls and emails from all over Huntsville and from meteorologists of neighboring states trying to figure out what was going on.

Theories attempting to explain the event ranged from ladybug swarms to aliens (of course). After analyzing the unusual blob with dual-polarity radar they were able to determine that the cloud was likely military chaff.

It turns out that after contacting Redstone Arsenal it was confirmed that they had been testing military chaff that dispersed in a cloud formation.

Not as exciting as ALIENS, but an interesting story nonetheless!

See the full story here