We have begun implementing the upgrades necessary for the site redesign.
1) Image creation is now handled differently. We used to premake all images, but this was at great expense to the overall server load. Now, the most popular maps are premade, and the rest are generated when the first user tries to view it. If you're the person trying to load a map that has not yet been made, you could have a 1-2 second delay. If the server is under minimal load, this shouldn't be very noticeable. Any user after you will have it fetched from the server faster as it's already been prepared. In the end, this puts less overall stress on the server and will allow us to add more models without slowing the system down. Also, because we don't have to wait for the server to prepare every image, the data availability is sooner. For example, the last hour of ECMWF's run has been slowly decaying to about 2:20am central (00z run) as our server has gotten more bogged down. With this new image fetching/creation system, we have recovered those lost 20 minutes! It now finishes the run by about 2:00 am. You just might have to wait an extra second or two if you're the first one to view a map.
2) ECMWF maps are now all in the same domain coordinates/projection as all the other maps on F5Weather.com. All the image sizes are the same now too. This gives the maps a slightly different look, and possibly slight domain shift. For F5Weather.com users, this means that you have the same looking map as you move between models. It also now allows you to draw on a GFS map and switch to ECMWF map and have that drawing persist without it being erased due to domain differences.
-- We have a few more behind the scenes items to take care of before we move into introducing the new front-end. But you may see more frequent subtle changes in coming weeks.
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