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Author Topic: National Weather Service will stop YELLING AT US!  (Read 3097 times)

ZLoth

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National Weather Service will stop YELLING AT US!
« on: April 16, 2016, 10:33:27 AM »

From NOAA:

National Weather Service will stop using all caps in its forecasts
Quote
New forecast software is allowing the agency to break out of the days when weather reports were sent by “the wire” over teleprinters, which were basically typewriters hooked up to telephone lines. Teleprinters only allowed the use of upper case letters, and while the hardware and software used for weather forecasting has advanced over the last century, this holdover was carried into modern times since some customers still used the old equipment.

Better late than never, but the slow change was not for lack of trying. The National Weather Service has proposed to use mixed-case letters several times since the 1990s, when widespread use of the Internet and email made teletype obsolete. In fact, in web speak, use of capital letters became synonymous with angry shouting. However, it took the next 20 years or so for users of Weather Service products to phase out the last of the old equipment that would only recognize teletype.
FULL ARTICLE HERE
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: National Weather Service will stop YELLING AT US!
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2016, 10:44:10 AM »

Surprising it took so long but now I'll be nostalgic for fax machine looking emergency weather updates.

briantroutman

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Re: National Weather Service will stop YELLING AT US!
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2016, 11:12:45 AM »

I thought the all-caps added to the do-or-die nature of some of the more severe warnings and was the visual equivalent to the blocky Perfect Paul voice they used for many years.

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noelbotevera

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Re: National Weather Service will stop YELLING AT US!
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2016, 02:20:59 PM »

Loved that voice when they used it.

But still, the all caps made me unnecessarily scared even if it was just frost advisories showing up on the NWS reports online.
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vdeane

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Re: National Weather Service will stop YELLING AT US!
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2016, 06:29:26 PM »

Couldn't they have written the advisories in mixed case and then used software to convert to all caps for the reports to the teletype devices?  Seriously, one can do that in one line of code in nearly any programming language... it's a simple string function.
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ZLoth

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Re: National Weather Service will stop YELLING AT US!
« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2016, 09:08:08 PM »

All caps will still be used for the appropriate bulletins (like TORNADO WARNING TAKE SHELTER NOW) because it adds emphasis and adds attention. Otherwise, why yell?

(From an old geezer who remembers when Model I TRS-80 and Apple ][ computers lacked lower case. I'm told that the design Model 1 leaving out lowercase characters saved US$1.50 in components and reduced the retail price by US$5. In turn, they sold $60 kits to add the capability.)
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kkt

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Re: National Weather Service will stop YELLING AT US!
« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2016, 11:52:15 AM »

Yay for less yelling on the internet.

Back in the day, I used teletypes.  They only printed uppercase, but lowercase was represented in the character set anyway and you could type lowercase on the keyboard.  Lowercase just printed as uppercase.

Lack of lowercase printing persisted in the login sequence of Unix/FreeBSD until surprisingly modern times, after 2000 I think.  If what you typed to the computer started out uppercase, it would assume your terminal was incapable of lowercase, and put a slash in front of each capital letter it printed.
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JMoses24

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Re: National Weather Service will stop YELLING AT US!
« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2016, 09:30:42 PM »

I thought the all-caps added to the do-or-die nature of some of the more severe warnings and was the visual equivalent to the blocky Perfect Paul voice they used for many years.


There will still be the option to have all caps for emphasis in certain situations (for example, a Tornado Emergency).
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mefailenglish

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Re: National Weather Service will stop YELLING AT US!
« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2016, 08:39:04 AM »

Couldn't they have written the advisories in mixed case and then used software to convert to all caps for the reports to the teletype devices?
Without getting too deep into the weeds...that's actually how the current system works (a call to str.upper before transmission).

The problem was, the baseline templates used to generate the products were in ALL CAPS from the get-go.  So the templates had to be modified (not difficult, but time-consuming), and sites that made overrides (pretty much all of them) would have to modify those as well.

The hardest part will be getting the forecasters used to not hitting the caps lock before typing their discussions.

paulthemapguy

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Re: National Weather Service will stop YELLING AT US!
« Reply #9 on: May 06, 2016, 08:52:08 PM »

Guys, I never claimed to be perfect.
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ET21

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Re: National Weather Service will stop YELLING AT US!
« Reply #10 on: May 07, 2016, 01:12:12 PM »

The last caps will be seen May 10th
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JMoses24

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Re: National Weather Service will stop YELLING AT US!
« Reply #11 on: May 25, 2016, 02:25:56 AM »

The last caps will be seen May 10th

Not exactly.

Short fused warnings (Tornado, Severe Thunderstorm, Flash Flood) will transition by August, with basically all other public products to follow by the end of 2016.

However, the Area Forecast Discussion, Public Information Statement, and Regional Weather Summary are all mixed case nationwide as of the middle of the month.
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Anthony_JK

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Re: National Weather Service will stop YELLING AT US!
« Reply #12 on: May 25, 2016, 10:45:19 AM »

I just recently noticed the difference with the Lake Charles and Baton Rouge/New Orleans NWS offices going mixed case last week. I was like: "WTF?!?!"

It had been experimentally used in selected offices (I believe the Jacksonville NWS office was the first to use mixed case); but it's nice to see it used nationally. Leave the shouting for real potential dangerous situations.
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US71

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Re: National Weather Service will stop YELLING AT US!
« Reply #13 on: May 25, 2016, 12:15:16 PM »

Tulsa NWS is still using all caps.
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JMoses24

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Re: National Weather Service will stop YELLING AT US!
« Reply #14 on: October 20, 2016, 04:15:04 PM »

Tulsa NWS is still using all caps.

As most offices are.
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mefailenglish

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Re: National Weather Service will stop YELLING AT US!
« Reply #15 on: October 23, 2016, 10:11:34 AM »

The latest PNS has the short-fused warnings going to mixed case in early December, and pretty much everything else in January:

http://www.nws.noaa.gov/os/notification/scn16-20mixed_case_phase2aaa.htm

JMoses24

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Re: National Weather Service will stop YELLING AT US!
« Reply #16 on: November 23, 2016, 04:42:21 PM »

The latest PNS has the short-fused warnings going to mixed case in early December, and pretty much everything else in January:

http://www.nws.noaa.gov/os/notification/scn16-20mixed_case_phase2aaa.htm

I'm surprised it was delayed by that much but yet I'm not. Government agencies tend to go slower than they planned.
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