We just rolled out weather reports on our Live Storm Chasing platform. Powered by Twitter, these weather reports provide important ground truth from chasers in the field which can aid in public safety.
We decided to use embedded tweets because we wanted the process for adding weather reports to be as easy as possible for chasers. These chasers already have so much to concentrate on while they are chasing so we made creating weather reports as easy adding a hashtag to tweets containing pictures the chasers are already posting anyway.
These weather reports will show up on the map with a new icon as pictured below and persist on the map during the entire chase regardless of whether the chaser is still online.
Often we here feedback from users that our Live Storm Chasing platform was the only warning they received about a weather hazard and we feel that the addition of weather reports will enhance this aspect of the platform. In fact earlier this year we had a farmer tell us that he was watching our live streams on our app and saw a tornado touch down on his property. He gathered his family and took shelter in their basement; the house was not damaged by the tornado but their barn was. He said the only warning he received was the tornado touching down on the live stream as no tornado warning had been issued on this storm at the time.
Although that is just one example we believe weather reports will be extremely valuable in providing ground truth for other events as well like flash floods, debris blocking roads, destructive hail, and anything that can help people avoid dangerous situations. Even for those not in harms way the weather reports will still provide additional awareness of the destructive impacts of severe weather.