By Kenny Podrazik, Journey Forecaster and Brad Small, Senior Forecaster
Periscope is a fairly new feature available through Twitter that was released earlier this year. It allows you to experience events that you wouldn’t normally be able to experience. In the weather community, this has tremendous potential. You’ll be able to experience a live broadcast of a tornado in western Kansas or large hail in South Dakota or white-out blizzard conditions in northern Iowa. All you need is a Twitter account and you can discover the advantages of using live streaming video via Periscope.
There are two ways to utilize Periscope, as a broadcaster or as a viewer. If you are broadcasting video, this allows your followers to see what you are seeing in real time as they are immediately linked to your live feed. As a viewer, this provides you with the opportunity to see through someone else’s eyes.
For us at the National Weather Service, we see the benefit of both. The benefit of being a broadcaster allows our followers to see what we’re seeing on radar or maybe take a quick look at a storm survey or even a brief tour of the office. As a viewer, this has an even more impactful benefit to the National Weather Service. It allows us to view live broadcasts from our storm spotters and have a better sense of what they are reporting to us. It doesn’t just end at spotters though. We’ll be able to follow storm chasers’ live feed and see the evolution of a supercell and potentially the formation of a tornado. This will aid tremendously in warning decision making because there is nothing more beneficial than real time reports on the ground.
We highly recommend that if you have a Twitter account to utilize Periscope if you are out storm spotting, chasing or encounter any interesting weather. Please utilize the #iawx or #nwsdmx hashtags when you title your Periscope stream to make it easier for us to track your video. You can follow us on Twitter and Periscope at @NWSDesMoines.