YIPPIE!!! We have online RADAR!
Thanks to acting director Mr. Hampden Lovell and his team at Barbados Meteorological Services, Bajans at home and overseas now have online access to Barbados weather radar images. Ordinary citizens will be able to keep an eye on developing weather and start to make plans and provisions earlier based upon their own needs and assessments.
We expect that online weather radar will drive an increased interest in the weather, especially during the hurricane season. Online access will get everyone talking when there is even the potential of something developing into a storm. That has to be good.
Next Up: FaceBook, Twitter
A few days ago the USA’s National Hurricane Center issued an advisory on a low pressure system developing to the SouthEast of Barbados. BFP wrote a story Tropical Storm Alert Barbados: 30% chance tropical cyclone next 48 hours, and within the next 4 hours we had over 600 referrals from various FaceBook pages as Bajans discussed the potential storm and directed their friends to read the alert at Barbados Free Press.
That is a powerful example of the value of social media and the online community in action. Had the low turned into something more substantial, you can bet that thousands of Bajans would have been watching and waiting for an increased alert. Again, that has to be good.
Taking that one step further, if the Barbados Meteorological Services establishes a Twitter feed and corresponding FaceBook page that only carries weather alerts, you can bet that tens of thousands of online Bajans will “follow” that BMS Weather Alert Twitter feed. When Mr. Lovell and his team are keeping their eyes on some potential threat, they could use Twitter and Facebook to wake folks up without issuing a real alert. By sending out a “Look what we see here” story, thousands of Bajans would have a “pre-alert” directly from the source.
When and if the moment comes that Barbados Meteorological Services decides to issue a real alert, the organisation would have instant direct contact with thousands of Bajans through Twitter and FaceBook, in addition to the normal media outlets.
Our thanks to Mr. Lovell and the BMS staff
We realise that the website is in “beta” and there is still some work to be done with animations and in calibrating the weather radar – but even with these developments still to come, the citizens of Barbados have just entered a new age with direct access to weather radar data. In the future this capability will save much property damage as folks will start to think and prepare earlier. If a big blow heads our way it might save lives.
To show our appreciation to the Barbados Meteorological Services and to acknowledge the importance of their work, we’re going to include BMS in our rotating banners, and also feature a permanent “weather radar” link at the top of the website – just as soon as Old Year’s Night is over and Cliverton sobers up enough to do the necessary.
Further thanks to Bajan Best Buy.com for donating the BMS website.