Alachua Co. EMWIN Project

Alachua Co. EMWIN Project
Free weather alerts!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

AC-EMWIN Server Down August 20th-21st...

The AC-EMWIN Server program somehow got locked up yesterday afternoon about 2pm and no bulletins went out for about a 24 hours period. This went unnoticed because I was not able to make my normal daily remote checks on the server due to the fact that I had suffered an on-the-job injury and had been busy with doctors appointments and related medical paperwork and dealing with insurance people.

While the server program might have been down the ingest program, however, continued to actually receive all bulletins downloaded through the EMWIN pipeline and on restart they were all eventually distributed, if but late, for some.

At this time, though, the server is again operating normally. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Friday, June 13, 2014

New Photo: Lightning Over UF...

[ Lightning Over UF ]

Local area storm spotter Dr. Steven Robicsek has provided us with yet another fantastic weather photo - this time of some crawler/spider (cloud-to-cloud) and CG (cloud-to-ground) lightning framing a scene of the University of Florida campus at night. You'll remember Steven from his photo of the gust front funnel adjacent to the UF stadium in June of 2010. (June seems to be a good month for Steven.)

Click here to see larger photo.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

AC-EMWIN Server Hiccup Last Night (Now Resolved)

Looks like the AC-EMWIN server had a hiccup, last night...

The AC-EMWIN server program locked up at about 8:45pm. All the other SUB-programs kept operating and passing on files which were apparently stuck in the ingest directory (the place where the program temporarily places new bulletins just downlinked, which are USUALLY then immediately *deleted* after they've been processed). So ZFPs and HWOs that didn't get deleted from the ingest dir (because the program locked up at just the right time) and the other subprograms just kept pulling them so they got duped to some Facebook pages a couple times overnight. As well, the radar images from 8pm last night kept getting resent all night until I noticed it early this morning after getting up.

As to how I even noticed that things were locked up... On getting up I noticed that the EMWIN test clients - here at the house, and which are connected to the main server remotely - weren't offering up the normal early morning beeps and sounds that occur when they receive the usual morning ZFPs and HWOs and paints things on the map. After years of being used this this, you notice something's not right almost immediately. This caused me to take a look around and check for problems. Indeed, the AC-SKYWARN web page hadn't refreshed the watch/warning map since 8:30pm last night. All the text bulletins on the AC-EMWIN page were "old" from late yesterday afternoon/evening. As well, no (current) bulletins were being sent to the surrounding area Emergency Management Facebook pages which were subscribed to us. (EEK!)

We're in the middle of some current ongoing weather so I didn't even bother to deal with checking logs and figuring things out. I just rebooted the machine entirely right away and that seemed to take care of it.

...So things are again working properly. I'll keep an eye on the server to make sure it doesn't happen again. The program usually worked very efficiently and I almost never had any problems with it and it's pretty stable so I don't expect another problem like that.

Coincidentally, the server hiccup started the process of me checking ALL resources for the possible problem and this included checking Alachua FreeNet. While it's not part of our server problem, I discovered that Alachua FreeNet is also apparently down, too. Something hung on THEIR server, too, last night and some of you may notice that your web page dirs are empty. (EEK!) I've notified AFN admin about it and they're taking a look. So in a way, you can thank our own server hiccup for causing a causal exploration which ended up discovering the AFN outage. :)

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 for 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 officially brag that we're serving the panhandle, north central, and south Florida areas. This is in addition to providing many people in the local area general public with weather alerts to their cellphones, pagers, and personal email accounts...ALL FOR FREE!!!

This from 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

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

AFN Web Pages Down...

Alachua Freenet web page access appears to be down. This means that the Alachua SKYWARN page will not be accessible from there. Instead use the MIRROR site at . It is the exact same page, at another site, and it is not affected by the AFN downtime.