Google Working On Hurricane Warnings

Enter address, find out about flooding

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[ Technology]

If you insist on staying at your computer while a hurricane’s on its way, Google still won’t say, "I’m sorry, Dave . . . .  I’m afraid that’s something I cannot allow to happen."  A yet-to-be-released tool may, however, try to let you know what’s coming.

Google To Offer Hurricane Warnings
 Bill Read, National Hurricane Center Director

"Bill Read, who was appointed head of the Miami-based U.S. forecasting center in January, said a planned program will couple a Google application with storm surge data that meteorologists have used for years to determine the flooding threat from any category of storm," according to Jim Loney.

The tool may be ready by the beginning of June, which coincides with the start of the Atlantic hurricane season.  Users will need to enter their addresses in order to find out about flooding.

The storm surge warning system should represent the first Google offering of its kind.  Admittedly, Google News has conveyed all sorts of information about disasters, and people could send warnings through Gmail and Google Talk.  Also, Google Earth and Google Maps have been used to mark the current status and aftermath of problems.  But the new tool will have the sole purpose of preventing (or at least limiting) damage and loss of life.

Come to think of it, maybe it’s just as well the thing’s not more like HAL.

Google Working On Hurricane Warnings
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