PAW adds southern Africa real-time weather
SSEC’s popular PDA Animated Weather service, known as PAW, recently expanded to include products for southern Africa. PAW, a free online service, allows users to access real-time radar and satellite weather images and forecasts whenever and wherever via handheld mobile devices with internet capabilities.
After creator Russ Dengel demonstrated the PAW service, Philip Frost, visiting scientist from South Africa’s Meraka Institute, asked Dengel if he could add southern Africa to the PAW’s coverage. Based on Frost’s interests, Dengel initially included satellite images and data to identify locations of wild fires. Dengel also added information about the path of a hurricane as it loomed off the continent’s coast.
“Our interest is to develop and distribute tools that can provide information to the general public,” Frost said in an internal news release from the Meraka Institute. The release commented on SSEC’s “dedication, innovation and willingness to share this technology.”
Dengel uses data from the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT) to create the products for southern Africa and those for Europe. PAW is one of the only applications on the web that EUMETSAT allows to display real-time data from Meteosat Second Generation (MSG) satellite.
Frost also showed PAW to representatives from the South African Weather Service, who granted Dengel access to national weather radar and lightning detection data. Dengel will integrate these data into the PAW within the next few weeks.