RUSKIN, Fla. - The folks at the Ruskin weather office have been a lot busier these days, but not just because of our storms that rumble overhead and light up the radar.
No, the meteorologists there comprise one of six teams nationwide issuing specialized forecasts designed to save lives and property by taking the latest technology right down to our level.
"It's our pinpoint," said Emergency Response Meteorologist Rick Davis.
"It's our highest resolution, we call it a point and click forecast."
Indeed, the meteorologists here told me that one of my inside info tricks -- using forecast point specific data interpolated and interpreted by the local forecast team -- is also being shared by other government and research groups to forecast potential problems, honed with deployments during the Republican National Convention last summer and events like Gasparilla, it works well on a normal day too.
"Today we have southwest flow," explained Davis, "so our better chances of rain are in the morning like we're seeing right now. when we have southeast flow, our better chances are going to be in the afternoon, but we can pinpoint that and they can see exactly what these guys are thinking as they're thinking it."
And we're not just talking major weather events, but also stuff that weather affects, like a Red Tide bloom.
"We can issue a product called a Beach Hazards Statement that lets the general public know of these things," said Mr. Davis.
"And that will be lit up on our web site and they can click on that and see where it's located, how it's going to impact them and there's also links to the other agencies so that they can get even more information off of that."
These products are being rolled in a pilot program here -- as part of the Weather-Ready Nation, designed to help the weather service interface with more end users, because weather impacts everything.
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