WSV3 Customer Spotlight: Chris Jarzynka
Shifting the Forecasting and Visualization Paradigm: Weather Transcendence
By: Madison Taylor, Marketing, Communications, and Promotion Manager, TempoQuest
TempoQuest, Inc. (TQI) is transcending weather as the leading independent software company in the meteorology and climate industry. Super-users such as Chris Jarzynka exemplify why our team is committed to disrupting industry standards and evolving alongside our customers. Weather is historically disruptive in nature and forecasting technology offers a solution.
Chris Jarzynka (aka Chris the Weather Guy) Chris is an industry veteran, equal parts proficient and well-versed, with an outstanding background and the savvy personality to match. Chris embodies the idealistic super-user and Customer Spotlight interviewee and we are honored to shed light on such a remarkable candidate and his experience with WSV3.
Chris earned a Bachelor’s degree in Meteorology and Mathematics from Lyndon State College and spent the beginning stages of his career in broadcast television. This should come as no surprise to anyone that follows him on social media. After ten years as a broadcast meteorologist, Chris felt it was time to transcend his career path and pivot towards programming and graphics management. Chris received an opportunity to test a system for Vizrt that transpired the career switch Chris sought, so he embarked on his new career endeavors in data management; eventually expanding upon his programming skillset through web development. Notable companies such as WNUR in Manchester, WSI, Vizrt, and Hearst Television; to name a few, are among the list of Chris’s prior vocations and industry experiences. He currently works for CNN as a Data Manager, Full Stack Developer, and Internal Applications Engineer. Chris began programming out of necessity, “when there was not a tool that could do what I needed it to do.”
Chris came across WSV3 several years ago whilst searching for a meteorology product that encompassed particular capabilities such as sweeping radar and things of such nature. He expressed that anything that claims to be “the game changer” or explicitly states that said product “is going to change everything” understandably incites some reasonable doubt, however; such claims inspired Chris to take action. Chris reached out to WSV3 developer and fellow New Hampshire native, Paul Maravelias, and thus the super-user was born. In hindsight the bold, game-changer claims about WSV3 ironically symbolize the catalyst event that ultimately precipitated the co-collaboration between Chris, TQI, and WSV3.
“One of the biggest challenges we had at Vizrt was that we didn’t have reliable data partners.” Dependence on free data resources lacks the stability and reliability necessary for meteorologists to ensure constant and consistent access to data. Factor in the stakes tied to severe weather phenomena and plausible life or death situations and the margins for error follow suit. “Reliable data partners were one of the things that really turned our team on to TempoQuest. Once WSV3 came into the fold, holy moly! Fast forward to the present day and with things such as running forecasts in the cloud on Graphics Processing Units (GPU’s)–the really forward-looking things that TQI is doing– it really is an amazing company and it’s fascinating to see where things are going.”
“There will be things out of TempoQuest’s control–let’s say the public interface goes down. There is nothing you could do about that…but outside of that, I don’t have to worry. I can load it on, I can data query points, and I can pre-load for utilizing WSV3 as a presentation tool. I’m not constrained by time, I can really dig into hyper-local levels that a TV station simply wouldn’t have the luxury of time on. I would say to any perspectives in the weather industry, from the professionals to the enthusiasts, based on the yearly price of WSV3…it’s a no-brainer because now you can really dig into two places that you’re just not going to get from public run sites.”
Chris Jarzynka, “aka Chris Thomas the Weather Guy” utilizes his Facebook page as a resource to connect with his following and frequents live-streaming to broadcast to his fans from a more relaxed, less-rigid setting (in stark contrast to television). Chris often showcases WSV3 in action featuring the multitude of features that led him to using WSV3 in the first place, in addition to all of the features implemented in the WSV3 updates throughout the years.
“I think the (WSV3) model integration is phenomenal. I can speak as a developer on this because I was responsible for bringing a lot of weather model data into our MS product. The way that Paul and the team at TempoQuest have integrated very challenging things, like taking public forecast data and being able to integrate it so seamlessly is phenomenal. When I’m ready to go on the air or post something on my Facebook page, I can just fire up WSV3 and I don’t have to worry about data range; and trust me, it is a pain. I don’t think people realize how difficult it is.”
“For me to be able to single-handedly go list with a webcam and fire up WSV3–there’s no comparison. At the TV station, you’ve got to get the production crew together. The audio operator, director, floor director, camera operators–all these people have to come together and in a breaking weather situation, that was one of the most frustrating parts of the job for me. I wanted to get on the air with that information, especially if there was a tornado warning or something urgent–as soon as possible. While it’s a default of the industry, as a single digital broadcaster– with WSV3, I’m ready to go in seconds.”
Chris shared his prior frustration with the lack of available customizations for weather models. “I used to go to a model site and these models had pre-designed map views that were static and I would post stuff like that. Sure, you could move the time bar…but with WSV3– I can add labels, Rhodes– I can even add geographic markers. These markers really resonate with the audience because the average person isn’t going to know where they are on a map all the time but they certainly know where the major roads are that they drive every day. I don’t care who you are, if you zoom way in on a map–without reference points, even an app enthusiast such as myself is not going to know where they are. Labeling landmarks and reference points transpire a dynamic environment where the audience is more capable of actively participating in the conversation.”
“With the algorithms that WSV3 is using, you can actually get the Doppler radar information quicker than you can through these commercial weather vendors. This has to do with the fact that WSV3 is going directly to the site, as opposed to going through data centers, etc. A minute latency may not sound like a big deal, but if there’s a tornado crashing down on your house; a minute is the difference between life and death. This is something the conceivable competitors don’t even have–it’s a wicked feature.”
Chris further expressed that, “…even the broadcast facilities that already have their preferred systems in place–they would be well advised to invest in WSV3. It’s a small change for these companies, but to either, and I would say to have as a backup to their system, but even not a backup– because if you’re getting your Doppler radar information first– use it. I would say it’s good enough to use on air because of all the customized customizable features you can do with the fonts, banners, colors, color tables, and all that great stuff. In addition, think about your return on investment (ROI) and the fact that you can do customized branding. So if you have an advertiser, you can put them up in your banner or your logos, and that’s something that a lot of these kinds of digitally-focused broadcast tools don’t allow you to do. Again, that’s kind of what makes WSV3 so special in this field.”
“WSV3 can be customized to look very polished and professional. To me, that’s one of the most amazing things about it. The customizations, in addition to other capabilities, such as being able to display current temperatures or other weather data, as well as being able to show current contours.” Chris recently published content about sea breezes and advocated his enthusiasm regarding the WSV3 capability allowing the user to display the wind direction. Chris reveled in sharing his satisfaction with WSV3’s capability to visualize the contour and actually being able to show how far the contour goes–contextually paramount to his content on sea breezes. “It’s very customizable–basically, anything I want to be able to do on a map, I can and it looks real. And that’s really cool. Depending on how much time you want to spend on it, all the customizations enable the user to be able to make WSV3 look equal to any broadcast graphics system out there.”
Feedback from users such as Chris are a testament to the TQI mission to transcend weather and the forecasting status quo with software such as WSV3. Powered by TempoQuest, WSV3 is the swiss army knife of weather visualization. We encourage you to check out Chris Jarzynka’s Facebook page if you haven’t already, or watch Chris over on the TempoQuest YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=46Th5pIWIXQ
Keep up with Chris on his Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn:
TempoQuest, Inc. (TQI) software (AceCAST, AceCAST On-Demand, WSV3) enables industry professionals, scholars, and enthusiasts alike to run personal customized regional high-resolution microscale forecasts and visualizations. As decision makers grapple with the need to assess the risks associated with severe weather and climate change, we empower our customers with the best information possible, providing better answers faster.
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