Map Stories – April 27, 2014 Tornado (Mayflower and Vilonia, AR)


This Entergy substation SW of Mayflower received a direct hit from yesterday's tornado.  Click the image to view the preliminary track of the storm

This Entergy substation SW of Mayflower received a direct hit from yesterday’s tornado. Click the image to open an interactive map for this point as well as other areas along the damage path.

It’s April again and that unfortunately means it’s tornado season.  Clicking the image to your right will take you to an interactive story map showing the tornado path for this storm, with links to videos, pictures and other supporting information.  The story shows a step by step view over a 60 minute period during the life of this tornado.

This storm rotation path is based on NWS Weather Radar observations.  Points were added to depict the center of rotation at roughly five minute intervals as the radar updated.  Those points are then connected to depict an approximate rotation path, which is then buffered on each side to depict a 1/4 mile, 1/2 mile and 1 mile wide area.  The tornado width has not yet been determined by NWS Little Rock, however these ranges help to depict likely impact areas, with the most likely impact area being the 1/4 mile wide corridor (red area), followed by the orange area (1/2 mile wide corridor) and finally the 1 mile wide corridor (yellow area).

Additionally, the damage photos and videos were added to the story map AFTER the damage path was created.  This means that as videos and pictures are reported to/by local media, social media, emergency managers, etc., the location of the photos can be compared against the preliminary estimated damage path in order to verify the accuracy of the information.

The preliminary impact corridor is essentially serving to identify the hazard zone.  On top of that map, information on community facilities, demographics, etc can be overlaid, thus creating an realtime operational impact analysis or risk assessment.  That in turn can be used to help refine the response to the hazard so the community can respond and then recover as fast as possible.

When you don’t know the impact zone of any natural disaster, it’s nearly impossible to get your arms around the situation and make sure that the appropriate resources are being called upon to assist in the response.  However when the impact zone is clearly identified, it can facilitate improved collaboration and effectiveness of the response – from individual citizens and neighbors, to community groups, charities and finally local, state and national officials.

If you find this resource helpful, please pass it on to others.  Thanks.

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Interactive ESRI Story Maps view of the April 27, 2014 tornado that impacted Mayflower and Vilonia, AR.

 

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Deadly Tornadoes Cut Through Central Oklahoma (Edmond, Carney, Norman, Bethel Acres, Shawnee)


Earlier this evening, several supercells erupted in Central Oklahoma, producing several strong to violent tornadoes.  These tornadoes impacted communities such as Edmond, Carney, Norman, Bethel Acres and Shawnee.  Much of the attention now including prayers have been focused on those impacted in a mobile home park directly in the path of the tornado where at least one fatality has occurred.

The following link goes to an interactive map showing the approximate paths of the three most significant tornadoes that impacted Central Oklahoma.  The map has a bookmark feature where you can view the Edmond, Carney and Norman to Shawnee tornadoes.  Similar tornado path maps have been very helpful and highly accurate for other significant tornadoes events over the past several years.

Click on the graphic to launch an interactive map.

Click on the graphic to launch an interactive map. The map contains bookmarks for the 3 tornadoes as well as an address lookup feature.

This information is unofficial information, but is based upon NWS Radar scans and uses the National Climate Data Center Weather/Climate Toolkit (NCDC WCT) and ESRI’s ArcGIS Online.  For official storm survey results, please follow the National Weather Service in Norman, Oklahoma (@NWSNorman).  In the coming days, the National Weather Service will be performing storm damage surveys.  When more information is made available, I’ll be linking to those products.

Preliminary Path Estimate for the 4/13/2012 Norman, OK Tornado


Preliminary likely tornado path created at 600pm CT

This post covers the Friday 4/13/2012 tornado that impacted Norman, OK in the evening hours.  The tornado outbreak continues into Saturday.  For the newest blog post covering the Saturday, 4/14/2012 Tornado Outbreak with interactive map, Click Here. (THIS INCLUDES THE PATH OF THE WEDGE TORNADO SW OF SALINA, KS)

4/13 – 1028pm CT – Added link to NWS Norman preliminary UNOFFICIAL track map from @NWSNorman

4/13 – 928pm CT – Updated interactive map to include links to media video and photo of damage with locations.  The locations verify quite well with the initial map points

It’s incredible to think of how today progressed…. First I shared a presentation on this topic to several of my peers around the country to share a methodology with the hopes of helping people tomorrow and in other tornado outbreaks, and the next thing I know, I’m talking to my brother in Oklahoma who is trying to get home to Norman after school, with a tornado warning for his home town.  It’s amazing to see the impact of how technology and information can be brought together to help protect lives.  I ended up helping guide him home to keep out of the storm while the tornado passed less than 1/2 mile from his house, telling him to stay put and keeping him out of harm, but still guiding him home.  Thankfully everyone in the family is safe, but it’s incredible to know that it makes a difference so close to home.

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Maps in the Classroom – Free Resources & Training


Are you looking for ways to share information on music, history, science, the arts, or many other disciplines in new ways?  Are you looking for a way to “connect the dots” to present material to your students?  Are you in a profession where information silos are prevalent and you’re looking for opportunities to explore and integrate previously disconnected resources?

If you have answered “yes” to any of these questions, you need to take a look at this free webinar from ESRI called “Teaching with GIS: Introduction to Using GIS in the Classroom“.  You may be thinking, “I’m not a geographer” or even “maps don’t really relate to my subject area”.  Here are some ideas for maps and how they can be used: Continue reading

Is it Possible?? Interactive Wind Forecast Map???


It can’t be possible… I’m always going to have to go to the same website to see a text product and try to put together in my mind where the worst winds, rain or snow is going to be located.  It’s not possible to do this another way…

… Or Is It??? …

In previous post Quick Web Maps – How’d you do that???, I presented how interactive maps can be ArcGIS Online.  In today’s example, we are going to look at viewing the same Web Map except this time using ArcGIS Explorer Online.  (For more information on ArcGIS Explorer Online, follow the ESRI ArcGIS Online Blog.

Today’s map will look at wind speeds from the National Weather Service National Digital Forecast Database (NDFD). Continue reading

October Snow and Online Web Maps


October is finally here, and just in time we are having reports of snow in the Mid-Atlantic / Appalachian Mountains.  Earlier today, I saw a tweet  from Jim Cantore of the Weather Channel.

@jimcantore: I remain bullish on HEAVY WET #SNOW EVENT above 3500ft in WV,VA, & NC Sat nt thru Sun.More tree issue than anything

We don’t usually get snow this early, but it has been known to happen.  With that in mind, the main question comes up, “Well what is above 3500 feet???”  Enter GIS and some new functionality from ESRI’s ArcGIS Online.  In recent months, they have added the capability to load GPX tracks, Shapefiles, KML files and reference existing WMS and ESRI REST Services.  This past week, they added functionality to “Publish Maps” from ArcGIS Online.  Below is a quick map that was created in just over 2 hours using ArcGIS for Home and ArcGIS Online. Continue reading