Joseph Urh explains how ClearPath Weather users can take advantage of Iteris' new METAlerts weather alert service.
While Iteris provides users with a variety of ways to view weather forecasts around the clock, it is unrealistic to expect even the keenest weather enthusiast to check their forecast hourly for changes.
Fortunately, Iteris is excited to announce a new weather alert service that will be available for ClearPath Weather users. The new system, called METAlerts, offers notifications for both forecast and observed weather information, with users able to select from a wide variety of weather criteria and delivery methods, ensuring flexibility in both the content and frequency of their alert notifications.
Within the METAlerts interface, customers can choose the content they would like to subscribe to and the method of delivery – METAlerts can be sent via email and/or text message.
Should the customer also have the Iteris MDSS application, METAlerts can be set up to appear as push notifications. But regardless of which method is chosen, the user can also specify times in which alerts should not be sent. This feature gives users the ability to not receive alerts while they are sleeping or out of the office.
All available alerts can be broken down into one of three categories:
- Forecast-based alerts
- RWIS observation-based alerts, and
- National Weather Service alerts.
Exactly as they sound, forecast-based alerts are alerts based on Iteris weather forecasts, and can be setup for wintry precipitation, road/bridge frost, visibility reductions and high winds.
Each of these alerts also allows customization based upon the relevant criteria. In the case of wintry precipitation, customers can set the amount of snow or ice necessary to trigger an alert. Customers can also receive update alerts if the forecast changes by a specified amount. The other three forecast-based alerts behave in a similar fashion in that they allow users to customize when alerts are sent based upon the magnitude of the hazard.
RWIS observation-based alerts
Users will also be able to leverage an agency's road weather information system (RWIS) network to send alerts when certain criteria are met. These criteria include precipitation on cold pavement, pavement frost, high observed winds or observed wintry surface conditions.
These alerts all function independent of Iteris' forecast and are only triggered when the alert condition is met by an RWIS site (airport/ASOS sites cannot trigger alerts). For each of these alerts, users must also indicate how many RWIS stations must meet the specified criteria before an alert is sent.
National Weather Service alerts
These METAlerts allow users to be notified when the National Weather Service (NWS) issues a warning, watch or advisory product. Users have the ability to customize which type of alert they want to receive and whether update messages are sent when the NWS updates its product.
This category of alert is based strictly on the NWS’s forecast, however, which may differ substantially from Iteris' forecast. Alerts are also only sent when the NWS issues a product, which is done when a weather event reaches a predetermined and universal threshold. Because of these thresholds, not every snow or ice event warrants a product issuance from the NWS. Users should keep this information in mind when considering signing up for NWS METAlerts.
About the Author:
Joseph Urh is a forecast meteorologist in Iteris’ Weather Operations Center in Grand Forks, North Dakota.