Project Details
for work performed by Michael Mullins


National Weather Service

Visio and Visual Basic
Project Title

Graphical Rendering of Meteorological Forecasts

This project is an example of the full concept to deployment capabilities of  our firm.  We were originally approached to develop an 'on demand' rendering component to run on the web server for real-time generation of graphics.

After researching the issues, we recommended design and development of an "early-rendering" web graphics application to re-generate graphs only when the forecast changed, rather than on user demand.  The
goal was to reduce heavy processing loads during periods of peak demand on the server, i.e. inclement weather conditions.  This would eliminate needless re-rendering of charts that only change approximately every 15 minutes at the most frequent.

(view the concept diagram)

The resulting object oriented application  parses weather forecast information from text files to instantiate objects and populate collections for forecast zones, wind, rain, snow, precipitation, & relative humidity. The objects render bar and line chart elements and dynamic scales based on forecast data passed by a Unix system.


(view the object model)
(view the digital forecast)
(view the graphical forecast)
(enlarged top of graphical)
(enlarged bottom of graphical)

So that the system would be ready for deployment nationally it was designed to be parameter driven through a conventional .ini file. Parameters allow local NWS offices to compensate for their local freezing point of precipitation based on elevation, properly display day/night cloud condition graphics for AM/PM hours depending on the season (winter or summer) at runtime, and to allow re-location of installed directories.