April 2020 HEMS Update

New changes to HEMS in April 2020

  • Updated gridded Ceiling and Visibility (C&V) analysis product with additional offshore coverage
  • Addition of hourly C&V forecasts valid for every hour through six hours in the future
  • Gridded C&V products color tables now consistent with similar displays on AviationWeather.gov
  • An updated 'Options' menu that allows for more intuitive configuration of the display
  • An updated time slider that is easier to interpret and always visible
  • Industry-standard full screen view
  • New radar loop controls

Frequently Asked Questions

Why was the full screen mode changed?

The new full screen mode now uses industry standard built-in browser functionality, actually enlarging to fill the entire screen as you might see on something like a video player. This allows using the entire screen real estate available with a single click.

The previous fullscreen mode only maximized the map to the current window causing user confusion, and unfortunately proved unreliable. It particularly did not function well on phones and tablets, causing misalignment of labels and legends. As we enhance the site to work better for mobile users some functionality that only works on a subset of devices has been removed. For future development we are exploring larger default map displays, increasing user flexibility as modern screens grow ever larger.

Why can I no longer save a user view?

User views were removed with this release as they are difficult to support with increasing complexity of the tool. While the majority of users may not use this functionality, we know it is important for some and are investigating a more comprehensive save option.

Why were the colors for flight category changed?

Color coding of flight category weather conditions was altered after significant feedback and study through our testbed. The new color scheme has better readability across a variety of background map options, and is consistent with displays on other pages of AviationWeather.gov including the popular GFA tool. Additionally the color fill is now consistent with the coloring of the station icons depicting the same conditions within the HEMS tool.

Where can I find more information about upcoming changes?

Many larger changes are available for preview through our testbed site, and in the future we are looking to increase awareness of these previews when they are available. For comprehensive notices about upcoming changes to National Weather Service products and services, please see the NWS Service Change Notice page.