Return of the Target Area game to Stormtrack

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Steve Miller

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Jun 14, 2004
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One of the most memorable features of the early days of the online version of Stormtrack was the Target Area game. When I took over ST a couple years ago, it was in the back of my mind that I'd recreate it for the community and beyond. It's nearly complete now, and ready for you to try out at the link below! Features:
  • Set a target for any severe weather event that occurs up to two days in the future
  • Target wind, hail & tornadoes; score points for your attempts
  • Points are calculated from the following criteria:
    • Amount of time between your target placement and the actual event occurrence
    • Target radius size in reference to where severe weather actually occurred
  • The game outputs a heat map which serves as a dynamic crowdsourced weather model
  • Sign up and play individually or join a team. Anyone can create a team
  • There is no cost associated with the game
https://forecastclash.com

Follow @ForecastClash on Twitter and Facebook.​

April 9, 2017 (note: target picks closed at noon for today's event)
FC 4-9-17.png FC.png
 

Steve Miller

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Jun 14, 2004
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AM/PM ONLY has to do with the cutoff time on Day 1. So in other words, after noon on any day, you no longer have the ability to forecast for the remainder of Day 1. We did this because not every forecaster is in-tune with UTC and cutting off at "noon" makes sense.
 

Brian G

EF2
Sep 25, 2014
105
25
11
St. Louis, MO
AM/PM ONLY has to do with the cutoff time on Day 1. So in other words, after noon on any day, you no longer have the ability to forecast for the remainder of Day 1. We did this because not every forecaster is in-tune with UTC and cutting off at "noon" makes sense.
Ok, that makes sense. Followup question...if I make a forecast for a particular day during what period of time is it said to be active? Is it a midnight-to-midnight kinda thing or does it pretty much follow the way the SPC assigns the date (which is 12Z-to-12Z)?
 
Apr 23, 2016
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Cedar Rapids, IA
What about adding the option for a user to call a bust? Not really sure how I myself even think of this idea, or how it would possibly be implemented, but I thought it was kind of an interesting idea, so I thought there was no harm in proposing it here.
 
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Dec 4, 2003
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That's awesome news. One of my big regrets is that I never got this up and running a few years ago, but I was just too overwhelmed, and I was no longer able to contact the original author I contracted this out to (in Bulgaria!) I hope this takes off, and I plan to visit it regularly.
 

Steve Miller

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Jun 14, 2004
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www.stevemillerok.com
I must have done something wrong with my test. I placed hail in the blue circle and there was hail but no points lol.
Since it was yesterday's event, you might check again soon on those points. We process reports so that SPC has time to parse bad/good reports. So, there's a chance it just hasn't gotten counted yet. I'll do some checking myself as well.
 
Is there a way to keep track of your forecasts? I made a forecast for Day 2, but then it disappears when I make another forecast for Day 1. I can't tell if it's still an active forecast or if it didn't get saved.

I think it'll be a fun game though and I'm interested to see improvements.
 
Steve, great work to you and your team, it's really tightening up nicely. I just discussed a potential bug report with John, because it seemed to miss the tornado reports in Iowa yesterday that I thought were within my forecast circle. Turns out it was because the reports came in at 115Z and my PM forecast was only good from 12Z-0Z. If 0Z is the AM/PM dividing point, my guess is that's going to wind up being frustrating for users in the long run since severe reports will tend to be heaviest running across the 0Z break point. Could the AM/PM definitions be revisited? Maybe PM = 18Z-06Z? Just a suggestion. Thanks again for all the work!
 
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May 25, 2012
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Albuquerque, NM
www.wxlog.com
I think it would be awesome if you could set your own start and stop time bounds (in z, CDT, or whatever was given) and, just like the smaller you set your radius, the smaller your time bounds the higher your score.
 

Steve Miller

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Jun 14, 2004
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Moore, OK
www.stevemillerok.com
Stephen, I like that idea a lot! We'll look closer at the feasibility after we get through the initial launch here. Thanks for the idea!

We'll push an update out this afternoon that will address AM/PM and make scoring happen at logical times. More smaller bug fixes as well!
 
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Brian G

EF2
Sep 25, 2014
105
25
11
St. Louis, MO
Agreed. Either make AM = 6Z - 18Z and PM = 18Z - 6Z or just get rid of the AM/PM thing altogether and use the normal SPC policy of 12Z-12Z for outlook forecasting and reporting.

Another thing to look out for...tornado reports can be really slow to trickle in sometimes especially for the big QLCS outbreaks. It took almost one week for all of the tornado reports from the March 6th outbreak to get logged.
 

Brian G

EF2
Sep 25, 2014
105
25
11
St. Louis, MO
I don't see a way to make a hail forecast overlap with a tornado forecast. When I tried to do this I first placed a tornado circle then when I attempt to place a hail circle that would overlap my tornado circle it would instead select and display information about my tornado forecast.
 

Steve Miller

Owner
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Jun 14, 2004
1,738
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Moore, OK
www.stevemillerok.com
Brian, save your Tornado forecast and then add your Hail forecast.

Everyone else: we will release a major update tonight that'll address forecast and scoring timing. We'll also reveal a new output map.
 

Brian G

EF2
Sep 25, 2014
105
25
11
St. Louis, MO
Brian, save your Tornado forecast and then add your Hail forecast.

Everyone else: we will release a major update tonight that'll address forecast and scoring timing. We'll also reveal a new output map.
I figured it out. You have to untick the Pending/Active checkboxes so that existing forecasts don't show up.