Workshop #3 – Accessing Fire Weather Information: A Tutorial on Using the MesoWest/Synoptic API Web Services
Instructors: Joshua Clark, Developer, University of Utah and Joe Young, Developer, University of Utah
MesoWest software to access, archive, and disseminate environmental information relevant to fire professionals in the United States and Canada has been extensively updated recently (see http://mesowest.org). MesoWest has been providing access to weather information for fire weather applications for nearly two decades. Over 40 million observations are added and archived each day from over 40,000 locations, including observations from permanent and temporary deployments of Remote Automated Weather Stations (RAWS). While the legacy map, graphical, and tabular interface software (MesoWest, http://mesowest.utah.edu , and ROMAN, http://raws.wrh.noaa.gov) continue to be used extensively by fire weather professionals, these were designed by necessity as “one size fits all” tools to meet common needs of operational, commercial, academic, and public users.
The MesoWest development team at the University of Utah is now collaborating with software developers at Synoptic Data to expand access to environmental information around the world. To simplify access to both recent and archived data, the MesoWest/Synoptic Application Programming Interface (API) is now available to allow users to develop their own customized queries to obtain the environmental information of interest to them. Fire professionals can access observations in the vicinity of specific wildfires, obtain alerts when conditions change in selected areas, or design their own fire weather monitoring tools.
Objectives: This workshop will familiarize software developers and users of fire weather information on how to use the API to access metadata to find what types of observations are available, retrieve both small and large volumes of data, compare recent conditions to those in the past, create weather alerts, assess the quality of the available information, and develop customized fire weather applications.
Note: Participants should bring their own laptops. Instructions will be provided in advance so that participants would know what they need to do to use their own laptops, including the option to install python software (many of the examples will be presented using python).