What is RedTeamWx?
RedTeamWx transforms meteorological data into creative software customizations/visualizations, drawing upon 15 years of professional experience/public service in the field of Meteorology and over a decade of field experience chasing severe convection in the central plains and tropical cyclones along the southeast coast. RedTeamWx products are freely accessible and regularly used by thousands of meteorologists and weather enthusiasts, including students and faculty at a number of universities and educational institutions, emergency managers and key decision makers (local, state and federal), military and government forecasters, broadcast meteorologists, businesses, non-profit organizations, skywarn spotters, and storm chasers. It is an honor to know that RedTeamWx has been embraced by so many in the meteorological community.
2016 marked the busiest year on record for RTWX (records began in late 2012), in addition to the 4th consecutive year of growth The year 2016 saw ~11,500 new users visiting the website, with almost 45,000 page views from all users. In comparison, placefile usage (the number of times a RTWX php script was queried by GRLevel2/3 software) was astronomical in 2016 with ~15 million hits coming from 500-1000 individual users (unique IPs) on a daily basis. Placefile usage followed a somewhat predictable trend, heaviest between late February and early July, with a further ~2x increase in usage occurring between Mid-April and Late-May, the yearly maximum. RTWX placefile usage is (anecdotally) well-correlated with the Spring severe weather (chase) season :)
Donations are necessary to help offset the cost of yearly hosting/domain fees. There are anywhere from 500-1000 unique IPs (regular users) running RTWX placefiles each day. If each daily placefile user considered making a small yearly donation (i.e. 5$), the proceeds would guarantee that this website remains a free & reliable source of unique, high quality GRLevelX placefiles for years to come.
Looping Placefiles became possible with the introduction of GR2Analyst v2.60 Beta 3. Updating RTWX placefiles to take advantage of the new TimeRange statement in Placefile v1.5 took more time/effort than I had anticipated, however, the end result was certainly worth it, what a cool feature! A variety of 'experimental' looping placefiles will be added over the coming weeks. I'm using the 'experimental' wording because I haven't had time to thoroughly test their reliability, though they've functioned correctly for me thus far. If anyone notices bugs or script failures, drop me a line and I'll investigate. As of January 22, 2017 the number of looping placefiles has climbed to 10! Check out the growing list of looping placefiles on the GRLevelX portion of this site.
Note: Looping placefiles will function ONLY on GR2Analyst v2.60 Beta 3 (or higher).
5 Years Ago...
I embarked on an effort to create my very own METAR placefiles in 2012. I soon realized this would take a lot more time and effort than I had initially suspected (how hard can it be???). I would need to learn a new programming language (PHP), purchase a web domain/host, and learn how to run a website. Despite a new, somewhat daunting appreciation for everything that was involved, I gave it a try (that I was influenced by the lure of real-time environmental data displayed alongside Level II radar data, there is no doubt). To my surprise, I found that I truly enjoyed programming. Even more surprising, I discovered an artistic creativity I was previously unaware of, and learned something new about myself. This was the beginning of RedTeamWx. -Brandon V.