NOAA launches Web site displaying wacky goings on in world's weather

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has created a Web site that tracks
chaotic weather patterns.


“We wanted to give as much useful information in one place to the media and the
public,” said Tom Peterson, research meteorologist for NOAA’s National Climatic
Data Center in Asheville, N.C. “The Web site will save our time with less questions
to answer. It’s cost-effective.”


The site, at http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov, resides
on a dual 50-MHz Sun Microsystems Inc. Ultra Enterprise 1000 server with 64M of RAM and a
20G hard drive. It runs SunSoft Solaris 2.5. NOAA plans to upgrade to a dual 300-MHz Sun
Ultra 2 with 512M of RAM and a 70G hard drive, said John Fauerbach, a center systems
administrator.


Weather phenomena such as El Ni'o, the deadly heat wave in the Southwest and recent
wildfires in Florida have piqued public interest in weather, Peterson said.


July was the Earth’s hottest month on record dating back to the 1880s, when
weather data began being tracked, Peterson said. The world has experienced record
temperatures every month this year, he said.


“Obviously, the world has warmed,” Peterson said. “The question is, What
is the cause? There are several points of view, the most common being greenhouse
gases.”

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