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Website built for weather watchers

Oregon's Office of Emergency Management has released a free online tool intended to be a one-stop shop for forecasts, current conditions and other weather-related information.

The Oregon Weather Dashboard pulls information from the state's three National Weather Service offices in Medford, Portland and Pendleton, and an office in Boise, Idaho. It also adds the Twitter feeds for those four agencies.

The dashboard can be found at https://arcg.is/1nzn811.

High and low temperatures, wind speeds, weather watches and warnings, snow-depth data, wind conditions, precipitation and flood-gauge forecasts are all on the site.

“We wanted to have all of our weather information in one spot,” said OEM GIS Program Coordinator Daniel Stoelb, who developed the dashboard. “I’m wanting to keep everyone informed.”

The site is meant to allow users to switch easily from one data set to another. There was no additional cost required to build it, as its creation was part of Stoelb’s regular work day.

Rogue Valley weather and emergency management officials hailed the website as a good tool for the public.

“It’s a good stay-informed kind of tool,” said Melissa Cano, city of Medford emergency manager. “They can monitor it pretty well, and it’s a fairly intuitive tool and easy to use.”

Cano said cities could use the dashboard, too, but said it would likely find the most use among the public.

“In a good way, we’re spoiled in that one of the regions of the National Weather Service they’re pulling from is right in our backyard,” Cano said.

Weather Service meteorologist Ryan Sandler pointed to the up-to-date watches and advisories as key features that would be well-used.

“This is another tool in the tool box,” Sandler said. “I think it’s a good thing for them to have just to monitor the situation.”

Reach reporter Ryan Pfeil at rpfeil@rosebudmedia.com or 541-776-4468.

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