Change History for HURRTRAK Advanced (does not include 2014 changes and 2015 changes and 2016 changes)

Version 2013 Changes

Expert Ease" – Our highly rated ExpertEase, was introduced last year and will continue in the 2013 software. Please note that this feature is ONLY available to users who maintain the current version of the Hurrtrak software. In order to continue receiving these updates, you need to upgrade to the 2013 software. For those less familiar with this feature, ExpertEase provides another tool in your data arsenal. On a daily basis, our chief meteorologist will discuss via video update, current tropical conditions as well as what is likely to occur in the near term. His observations are integrated within the Hurrtrak program throughout the Atlantic Hurricane season. Unique to PC Weather Products portfolio, ExpertEase gives you “inside” knowledge of the factors and conditions affecting the path and strength of active tropical storms and/or the tropical season in general. Remember, it is available to all users with current Hurrtrak software installed.

Desktop Rebuild – This change represents a major enhancement to the user “experience” in 2013. The Hurrtrak system will now “remember” the graphics, reports and animations created/viewed for a storm, and recreate them automatically when reloading or when storm data is updated. This will routinely and significantly reduce time (and key/mouse strokes) spent re-creating graphics and reports that you typically generate for a storm. Items automatically rebuilt include ALL of the tracking charts and the options displayed on them. Other items rebuilt include:

• Wind Band Analysis
• Location Impact Reports
• Animations
• County and ZIP Based Impact Reports
• Wind Probability Analysis
• Wind Probability Reports
• Surge Probability Analysis
• Rainfall Analysis and Thematic Charts

Enhanced Hurricane/Tropical Storm Watches and Warnings - The system is now able to determine whether individual locations are included within NHC/NWS issued hurricane and tropical storm watches and warnings. This is displayed graphically and also included on all location based reports. These include the EZ-report, Location Wind Profile, County Wind Profile, Zip Code Wind Profile, Executive and Risk-Impact reports.

Enhanced Wind Radii Estimation for Joint Typhoon Warning Center storm forecast - We have significantly enhanced the wind radii estimation for the "missing data" problem for storms in the Western Pacific and Indian Ocean.  This will now allow Global and Hurrtrak Advanced users to create consistent animations, wind band charts and most importantly allow for impact reporting for both land and sea locations.

Excel export enhancements – Excel export now includes location watch/warning information.

Tray Alert Message – The "tray alert" will now alert users when their "base" location has tropical storm or hurricane warnings / watches issued for it.

Google Earth export enhancements – Google Earth export now includes watch/warning information.

Tab and Automatic Summary Report Enhancements – Automatic Location Impact and Executive reports now include watch and warning information for the location(s) being analyzed.

Narrative Impact Description - The narrative now includes comments on whether the analyzed location is “under” a tropical storm and/or hurricane watch or warning.

SLOSH/Storm Surge improvements  – Six more SLOSH basins have been updated and rolled into the 2013 release.  This includes the following basins... Corpus Christi, Norfolk, Pamlico Sound, Apalachicola, Penobscot Bay and New Orleans.  Much more detail along with software improvements have made the Storm Surge program easier to use.


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Version 2012 Changes

"Expert Ease" We are particularly excited about this one! With Expert Ease you have another tool in your data arsenal. On a daily basis, our chief meteorologist will discuss, via video update, current tropical conditions as well as what is likely to occur in the near term. His observations are integrated within the Hurrtrak program throughout the Atlantic Hurricane season. Expert Ease gives you "inside" knowledge of the factors and conditions affecting the path and strength of active tropical storms and/or the tropical season in general. It is available to all users with current Hurrtrak software. (Click on the image to the right for more information.)

EZ Map  Enables both new and seasoned users to be more productive immediately. Press a button, and the system generates a tracking map for a current storm with all of the most common plot options. Choose anything from a default to user specific options.

EZ Report  Designed for new users, but useful for everyone. Simply supply a valid US address (street address, city-state, zip code) and the system generates an informative report for that single location. No need to add the location into the systems database or associate it to a location group. Just click on the "EZ" button, supply an address and you have your report…Boom!

Storm Conditions Display - The system now has an enhanced opening display (main tab) that via text and graphics, shows the current storm’s conditions including its strength, position, central pressure, motion and category of the storm.

Hurricane Model enhancement - Our model display program has been enhanced in several ways, focusing on efficiency and ease of use. You can now mouse over a forecast line/point and information about that model automatically displays the model name and description with details about the forecast point including forecast intensity. Additionally, users can select models they would like to see directly from the model display program and/or select "Max's favorite models"... which is a list of the hurricane models that Max Mayfield follows.

Automatic Summary Report Enhancements - The Automatic Summary reports now optionally include the storms forecasted wind bands.

Narrative Impact Description Comments on the likelihood of the analyzed location being impacted by the eye/eye wall and maximum storm surge of the storm are now included.

Usability enhancements - Made several changes including the ability to control the width of the forecast and model plot lines.

Expanded County Reports  - We’ve added a new location group (US Counties) which covers all US counties. Users will now be able to create county based Risk Impact Analysis and Executive reports.

Location Import Improvements The location import utility has been modified to make it more flexible in accepting different comma delimited formats (Hurrtrak Advanced).

SLOSH/Storm Surge improvements  – New Orleans, Lafayette, Galveston, Jacksonville, Savannah and Charleston basin analysis updates have been rolled into the 2012 release.  Much more detail along with software improvements have made the Storm Surge program easier to use.

Improved Email address book maintenance Bulk addition and deletion of email addresses is now available making email address management a snap!

EXCEL Export Excel export of location forecast impact is now standardized. Columns are now the same between forecast and actual reports and some fields have been standardized to always have numeric data. This should make it much easier for users to export the Hurrtrak data to another format or separate program.


Version 2011 Changes

"Data Layering" For 2011 we’re launching a tool that gives users the option to selectively turn on and turn off data layers during a tracking exercise.  For example, rather than plotting a storm or geographic feature and then having to “undo” it at a later time... the user may now simply select/turn on an icon to show the information on a tracking map and select the icon again (turn off) to remove it from the tracking map.  This real time enhancement makes creating a tracking map display extremely quick and easy
New Maps Several new topographical/relief type maps have been added this year.  You may now display the storm on an attractive map background which indicates mountainous areas, low lying areas, etc..
Simplified Google Earth Selection & Output For 2011, we’ve made interfacing with Google Earth a “breeze”.  With just ONE click, you can create a collection of Google Earth output and bundle them into ONE file.  AND, you can either save it as a file, save it to the EMail Outbox for later EMailing, Email it immediately or initiate a Google Earth session.  In addition, Google Earth files can now be automatically generated and Emailed when new data arrives on a current storm (see more below).
Revamped Automatic Summary Report - The definition of Automatic Summary Reports is significantly streamlined and more intuitive  in this years’ software.  A fully renovated user interface enables you to define the summary report on one screen with interactive feedback as you enter/modify the report’s parameters.  We have also added a new automatic report... Risk/Impact Summary Report. 
Redesigned EMail Alerts
- We love all of our improvements, but believe that this 2011 enhancement will really make you stand out with those you support…a genuine WOW factor!!!  Similar to the Automatic Summary Reports, we completely reworked the EMail Alert function. The result has been a much more intuitive interface that supports more flexibility when defining the “Alerts”.  In addition to identifying which users will receive an alert, you can also indicate which storms to include (or exclude) as well what schedule is best for each alert.  ***We have also created a NEW ALERT which will notify a user whenever one (or more) of their locations is expected to be impacted by a storm.***  These features really need to be experienced to be fully appreciated!
New Automation Capabilities When redesigning the Automation Summary Reports and EMail Alerts, we added a new category of automation.   It allows the user to quickly create and optionally email the following output... Google Earth interface files (KML), EXCEL Location Impact reports, Shape Files (Hurrtrak Advanced users) and plotted storm tracking maps.  It also has an intuitive/easy to use interface.
Improved Past Forecast Selection
 - The selection of “prior” forecast tracks has become much easier by allowing the user to quickly select/deselect earlier advisories forecast.  This allows you to quickly determine how the anticipated track  may change with each new forecast.
Improvements in Tropical Weather Outlooks
Global users will appreciate the addition of the JTWC graphical outlook images in 2011.
SLOSH/Storm Surge improvements  – New York, Wilmington/Myrtle Beach, Florida Bay, Fort Myers, New Orleans, and Laguna Madre basin analysis updates have been rolled into the 2011 release.  Much more detail along with software improvements have made the Storm Surge program easier to use.
Expanded Watches and Warnings
We will support the new areas of watches and warnings being utilized in 2011 which includes Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.
Enhanced Location Database
The addition of a new WORLD location group makes it much easier to plot and analyze storm impact worldwide.
Additional CommandBar "Themes"
-  New command bar color "themes" have been added allowing you to personalize the look and feel of the system even more than in the past.


Version 2010 Changes


Version 2009 changes

  • Enhanced Application Usability – A 2010 “facelift” provides greater use of command and toolbars as well as ease in selection of maps and satellite images.  This makes the system considerably easier to use and allows you to get the job done quicker.

  • Multiple EMail Attachments  – For anyone who emails information from the Hurrtrak system.. and who doesn't...  this is a welcome time saving addition which allows the user to send multiple application outputs in a single email.  Simply select the graphics or reports you wish to email and hit “Send.”  There is no limit to the number of attachments you can include. 

  • New Interactive wind speed forecast  – Just “point & click” on a tracking map and display forecast wind speeds for desired location. A great way to see how wind forecasts vary from location to location, particularly when using Advanced Wind Estimation.

  • Forecast Model Improvements - You asked and we delivered!  We now have a much easier, highly interactive method to pick and choose those forecast models you want displayed within the Hurrtrak system.

  • New 2010 Risk/Impact Analysis Tab - New "tab" displays the Risk/Impact information, along with a wind speed/ direction graph for base locations. PLUS…you now have the ability to define more than one "base" location to quickly assess the forecasted impacts to ALL of your high priority sites/locations.

  • New 2010 Location Risk/Impact Report – New forecast report combines risk analysis and wind forecast data in one graphically attractive report. Report includes risk analysis color bars as well as a chart of the location's expected wind speeds and wind directions during the passage of a storm.

  • Executive Summary Report  - This is now part of our standard report set. It is directly selectable from the reports menu making it a simple “one click” option.

  • Application "Skins" – Personalize your system's look and feel by using different application color and font schemes or "skins" with the Hurrtrak Application. Folks who want larger fonts will love this! Choose from several included “skins” or import your own.

  • Enhanced Mapping – Our software now displays counties, major roadways and state border outlines as "layers" on any tracking map. State borders are particularly useful on tracking maps that also display counties and all thematic type maps.

  • Enhanced map color capabilities – We’ve made it much easier to change your map colors (water/land) by introducing some pre-set color schemes for your selection...or, simply create your own.

  • Email Alert Narrative Impact Statement – EMail Alerts can now include the Narrative Impact Statement within the body of the Alert Email. This provides recipient(s) with not only the fact that the Alert Condition has been met but with the expected impact to the Alert Location…in a narrative format.

  • Additional EMail Alert Trigger – Users who must take actions based on wind speeds AND time frames will love this!  Our new EMail alert condition allows you to define an Alert which in turn notifies recipients that a certain wind speed is forecast to impact the Alert Location WITHIN a specific number of hours. (For example: “Alert me when 50 MPH winds are forecast for a location within 48 hours.”)

  • SLOSH/Storm Surge improvements - The latest SLOSH basin analysis updates including: New Orleans, Pensacola, Panama City, Apalachicola, Cedar Key, Tampa Bay, Miami/Biscayne Bay, Palm Beach, Cape Canaveral, Virgin Islands, Delaware Bay and Boston/Providence have been rolled into the 2010 release. They are much more detailed and software improvements have made the Storm Surge program easier to use.

  • Enhanced Google Earth exports – 2010 includes several more Google Earth exports including SLOSH Storm Surge Reports.

  • Expanded Hurricane History Database
  • Updated Watch and Warning breakpoints
  • Updated Average Forecast Error data
  • Update Tide database
  • Tray Alert Messages We found that Hurrtrak users busy at their workstations desired a way to be alerted to new and changing conditions in the tropics. No problem! In 2009 we are introducing a "tray alert messaging" (TAM) system. TAM notifies our users, via pop-up tray messages, of several noteworthy conditions including: the formation of new storms, storm strengthening or weakening, the issuance of watches or warnings, updated storm data, issuance of the last advisory, new tropical weather outlooks or new tropical disturbance statements.

  • Inclusion of Storm Surge Probability This year, the Hurrtrak system has the ability to display…both graphically and through reports, storm surge probabilities for 2' - 25’. This combined with enhanced SLOSH information, provides users with the most detailed storm surge information available.

  • Narrative impact statements In addition to the summary and detailed impact reports, in 2009 we have added the ability to show a "computer AI generated" narrative description of the impact to a location. This can be viewed for the base location, any location in a summary impact report and/or in the auto generated summary report. Both standard and "executive" formats are available.

  • Executive Summary Report Enhancements - The executive summary report is now more flexible than ever before and includes optional narrative impact statements, wind probabilities and storm surge probabilities (for coastal locations).

  • Pan and Zoom Mapping in SloshView - 2009 brings Pan & Zoom capabilities to the Slosh display program. This allows the user to select a different map region to analyze without having to "reset" the map and redefine the storm surge parameters.

  • Average Forecast Error plot enhancements We have added the ability to plot the 72 and/or 120 hour forecast average error.

  • Forecast Model Selection improvements Users can now be more selective of which forecast models to plot.  (Selection is by type and time period.)

  • Multiple "undo" levels Enhancements to the user interface now include the ability to undo multiple plotting layers.

  • Location plot font control - In the 2009 version, users have the option to select the font type, color, and size used to plot a location on a tracking chart. The color can be controlled by location groups or individual location... thus enabling the user to "highlight" critical locations on a map.

  • Inclusion of "special tropical weather" outlook The new "special tropical weather outlook" will now be part of the Hurrtrak Online data stream and displayed in the Hurrtrak system.

  • Enhanced Google Earth exports In 2009 we are adding several more Google Earth exports including animated arrows and others under development.

  • Enhanced SHAPE file exports - For users of the Hurrtrak Advanced system, we are adding more SHAPE file exports (still under development).

  • Expanded Google Earth Information We are exploring the addition of more external weather Google Earth links (still under development).

  • Updated SLOSH storm surge data - The latest SLOSH basin analysis updates have been rolled into the 2009 release.  They include Wilmington, Matagorda Bay, New Orleans, Okeechobee, Sabine Lake, Savannah, and Mobile Bay SLOSH basins.

  • Enhanced Damage Estimate Report Users of the Hurrtrak Advanced system will benefit from an enhancement of the Damage Estimate Report. The 2009 enhanced "formula" includes real estate values of the affected area.

  • Enhanced Risk Alert - Both wind probability and wind probability trend have been added to the 2009 risk alert table.

  • Expanded Hurricane History Database

  • Updated Watch and Warning breakpoints

  • Updated Average Forecast Error data

  • Update Tide database

  • Enhanced system and user preferences (options)

  • Miscellaneous User Interface improvements

Version 2008 changes

  • "True” Pan and Zoom interface This new feature represents a significant enhancement to the user interface that allows the user to interactively pan and zoom any tracking map.  All of the mapping elements previously chosen by the user are re-plotted at the new zoom level and/or map positions.

  • Native Google Earth Interface this allows the user the ability to export lines, points and polygons to GE via it’s native KML language.  In 2008 there are additional Google Earth export types including wind arrows, and summary report detail.

  • Enhanced Google Earth exports In 2008 we are adding several more exports such as: the ability to add images to location impact reports; detailed hourly summary information; display of wind field arrows, and much more

  • Expanded Google Earth information In addition to the LARGE amount of information that the user is able to export from the HURRTRAK system to Google Earth, you will now able to superimpose additional National Weather Service information on the same Google Earth “image”.  Some of this data includes Animated radar and satellite, station observations, NWS storm reports and warnings, current and forecast river stages, observed rainfall, and more... 

  • Expanded Historical databases Thanks to the work at the Hurricane Research Division we have added storm databases for the years from 1851 to 2007.  While the wind radii information from the 1850s through 1980 is less reliable, it allows the user to go back and examine the past season storms including some of the more notable ones (including the ability to create animations, impact reports, etc..) 

  • More accurate and descriptive damage commentsThe Saffir-Simpson scale is a good measure of storm strength, but it is not necessarily tailored for damage at individual locations.  In 2008, we allow the user to use an alternative “modified Texas Tech damage scale”.  This new scale is more useful when analyzing the impact for a location, because it provides a more detailed and accurate description of damage. 

  • Damage estimate Report This new HURRTRAK Advanced feature examines the potential or actual impact of a storm on the affected population.  It calculates a wind and storm surge damage index which roughly correlates to the anticipated or actual damage and compares it to similar past storms. 

  • Expanded SLOSH (MEOW) storm surge data – SLOSH MEOW data is now available for users of the HURRTRAK Advanced system.  This allows the user to view storm surge information that is specific to a storm’s strength and direction of motion.  Both the standard SLOSH display and our exclusive “inundation analysis” is available with this expanded data.

  • Executive Summary Report Enhancements - Users can now embed a tracking chart image into this report.  In addition, this report, similar to email alerts and the "legacy" summary report, can now be "sent" automatically when new data arrives.  Finally, forecast rainfall data has been added to the report detail.

  • Estimation of 25 knot wind radii This enhancement allows the system to estimate wind speeds below 34 knots (from 25 knots - 34 knots).  This is reflected on the system graphics and reports. 

  • Graphical Tropical Weather Outlook

  • Desktop Satellite Animation

  • High Resolution Recon Reports – You can now display the high resolution reports coming in from the Hurricane Hunter aircraft.

  • Enhanced Shape File Export We have added additional ESRI shape file outputs to the Hurrtrak Advanced system. 

  • Improved Summary Reports

  • Expanded Hurricane History Database.. now from 1851 to 2007.. this contains best track information
  • Updated Watch and Warning breakpoints
  • Updated Average Forecast Error data
  • Update Tide database
  • Enhanced system and user preferences (options)
  • Miscellaneous User Interface improvements


Version 2007 changes

  • Native Google Earth Interface – this allows the user the ability to export lines, points and polygons to GE via it’s native KML language.  This is a major enhancement to the system and the result is an impressive array of visualization capabilities.

  • Animated Wind Pattern graphic - We have taken the animated wind pattern capability that was introduced last year and improved it by allowing the user to view an animated wind pattern... with or without Advanced Wind Estimation.

  • NHC Wind Probabilities – This year we will support the “new” NHC wind probabilities.  This support is evident in several areas of the system

  • Enhanced SLOSH Inundation Analysis – We have increased the resolution of our elevation database, used for inundation analysis, from 90 meters to 30 meters… a 9X increase in detail.  The result is a much more detailed and accurate SLOSH inundation analysis.

  • Additional detailed SLOSH data – In addition to updating our SLOSH database with the latest changes from NOAA,  we also include more detailed data with the Hurrtrak Advanced product.

  • Desktop Satellite Enhancements You can now specify up to 3 daytime and 3 nighttime satellite images.

  • Enhanced E-mail Alert – As mentioned earlier, we have added wind probabilities as e-mail alert criteria.  For example you can specify that you want an alert email sent when forecast wind probabilities for a location will exceed specified values for 34, 50 and/or 64 knot winds.

  • Daylight Savings Time changes – We have changed the system to accommodate the new DST rules.

  • Point and click reports – While viewing a tracking chart, you can now simply right-click on a map position and generate an impact report location.

  • Enhanced Shape File Export We have added additional ESRI shape file outputs to the Hurrtrak Advanced system.  In addition to the data exports that were introduced last year, now you can export NHC watches and warnings, forecast average error, forecast model tracks and the climate forecast.

  • Improved Summary Reports - Now includes Wind Probability data.

  • Updated street database – We have updated the street level database to the most current available.

  • Expanded Hurricane History Database.. now from 1851 to 2006.. this contains best track information
  • Updated Watch and Warning breakpoints
  • Updated Average Forecast Error data
  • Update Tide database
  • Enhanced system and user preferences (options)
  • Miscellaneous User Interface improvements


Version 2006 changes

  • Shape File Import - this allows the user to import ESRI type Shape files
  • ESRI Shape File Export - this allows the user to export key Hurrtrak outputs to an ESRI type Shape file format. 
  • Enhanced Location Import capabilities - this allows the user to import custom locations into the Hurrtrak Location database using a point shape file as input (also supports comma delimited).
  • Google Earth Interface - this allows the user to display most of the HURRTRAK graphics "on top" of a Google Earth "earth" image.  Google Earth is a free application available at .
  • New Wind Pattern Display - this graphic shows the wind field around a storm in a solid color coded manner.
  • Multi-Colored Wind Vectors - Optional method of viewing the wind field around a storm... either in static or animation mode
  • Enhanced forecast wind estimation/Eye Diameter control - Wind estimation has been improved by allowing for forecast period eye diameter considerations.  Users can define a default eye size as well as a transition period for a current storm to change from a very small or large eye to a "normal" one.
  • Non Location based Summary reports - Users can now define automatic summary reports without defining a location.  This expands the definition of summary reports to include both location-storm reports and simply storm based reports.
  • Customizable Summary Reports - In addition to the item above, automatic summary reports can now be customized to include or exclude different sections of the report.
  • Chart note display improvements - Chart notes can now be displayed manually by "grabbing" an observation point and using the mouse drag and drop feature.  This has also been extended to the Main  Informational database tab in order to allow the user to select observations for Post Storm Analysis.
  • Wind band export enhancements - data smoothing has been introduced to produce a more realistic wind band pattern.
  • Outlook Email Improvements - User has ability to save email in the Outlook drafts folder instead of an immediate send from the HURRTRAK system.  This allows the user to open the email in Outlook, include additional attachments, etc. before sending.
  • Radar - National mosaic radar image can now be used as a background tracking map.
  • Hurricane History - Color coded tracks as well as a thin or thick line option.
  • QuickPlot enhancements
  • Enhanced Location Maintenance - Ability to add locations graphically.. via map point selection.
  • Quiet Updates - ability to have HURRTRAK ONLINE update the system databases without displaying status window.
  • Expanded Hurricane History Database.. now from 1851 to 2005.. this contains best track information
  • Updated Watch and Warning breakpoints and Tide databases
  • Enhanced system and user preferences (options)

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