Back in black

May 1, 2004
Springfield, IL
I believe it was last year when SPC switched over from a black background to a white background on the convective outlooks. The graphics look more aesthetic on the SPC page and print without draining your black cartridge, but I know a few of you complained it made seeing the probability outlines more difficult.

Well, just as all of you have become comfortable with the new graphics, I finally got around to creating a script that restores the older version colors. Check it out here:

There isn't much going on for severe weather right now so I also have a page setup with a more interesting outlook. November 15:

The only part I couldn't duplicate was the sig. severe hatching. SPC uses the same shade of grey for the state borders as they do the hatching. Thus the hatching has to stay the new grey color (or all the state lines turn cyan if you match the old hatch color).

I'll setup a page for viewing archived outlooks with this high contrast script soon. Also, does anyone have one of COD's convective outlooks saved to your computer? I need one with a high risk or a 45% probability. I was thinking about tinkering with their graphics as well.
Very cool, Skip! How does one save them though? Right-clicking doesn't bring up a "save picture as" option that I thought it would.
The layout I had setup put the images as the background of table cells, which makes them hard to save in Internet Explorer. I changed the page layout to a more conventional layout now, so right click saving should work. You'll have to manually give the graphics a name though because the images simply take the name of the PHP script.
That's very interesting, and neat. Thanks for doing this! I guess if you wanted to save them you could do a "Print Screen", and paste it into a graphics program then save it...
I figured out how to do it with other archived right clicking and copying-pasting the URL of the image and going to it...then modifying the URL for any graphic in the SPC archive.

It seems to work for most of them, but for some I get a page like this:

when trying to do this graphic:

It seems to be a problem only with the graphics issued in late May or early June 2004, when they first switched to the new system. Maybe they used a different script for those or something, I dunno.
Aha! I've got it! The graphics in the SPC archive from May 20 (approximately) to June 16, 2004 are not really GIF images, even though their file extension is .gif. If you go to "properties" or try to save them you notice they are actually PNG images. All the images after June 16 are proper GIFs.

Is there any way to get around this? The graphics that I really want to get back in the old format are the ones from late May 2004 when they were still releasing them in the old format, but then inexplicably went back into the archives and changed some of them to the new format. Check the archived outlooks from May 29, 2004 to see what I mean.

I tried running a saved graphic from my website through your system, because it has been converted to a proper GIF file, and although it at least recognized the image it did not convert the colors properly:
The reason your converted graphic doesn't process into the right colors is because the palettes are different. I tried to switch all the colors based on their rgb values, but a few had to be switched based on their palette index. Thus if your indicies are off its going to convert the wrong colors.

I should be able to get archived images working within the next couple of week. If you can't wait though I can think of one fix that might work. Save the original archived outlook from SPC's website that you are trying to change, and then save another one that you know works with the script. For the working one, pick one that uses the same risk probs. Then in Paint Shop Pro or Photoshop save the palette from the working image and then apply it, based on closest color, to the image you want to change. Run the script on the GIF with the new palette and it should work. There might still be a few issues with white/black not converting but I think most of it will switch. You can always do the images manually in Paint Shop Pro by modifying the palette too.