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MIT staff blogger Chris Peterson SM '13

MIT IreneCam by Chris Peterson SM '13

tracking the storm - here and on the web.

I’ve decamped from the Boston area northwards to New Hampshire for the weekend. My house in the suburbs of Cambridge, while high enough to avoid flooding in nonapocalyptic scenarios, is almost certain to lose power for some time because it is surrounded by an intricate interweaving of dead trees and ancient power lines. So I figured I’d come up here, hang out with my brothers, and try to ride out the worst of it.

But before I left, I set up a webcam in the office, looking out over Killian Court towards the Boston skyline. I don’t anticipate MIT losing power (we have our own power plant and all of the wires are underground), so as long as it doesn’t eventually crash the computer it’s on out of a browser memory leak (always a possibility) it should remain up. Killian is protected from the worst of the winds and rains by the “arms” of buildings 4 and 3, so that’s what you’re seeing. Oh, and there’s no sound, so you’re not going deaf.


Video streaming by Ustream


If you’re following the storm from home, I highly recommend the New York TimesHurricane Tracker, which I’ve embedded in a woefully insufficiently-wide iframe below

The NYT has really ramped up their “Web 2.0” interaction graphics / media visualizations and this is an incredible example of it.

Two other resources that I’m constantly refreshing are the National Weather Service’s Radar Full Resolution Loop, which is a looping, updating GIF of the super high resolution radar images direct from the NWS, and the Google Crisis Response Team’s interactive widget as well (make sure to click the “Layers” button below):



One final note: for those of you who already have students here at MIT, including those who just dropped off brand spanking new freshman over the past few days, do not be alarmed. As I mentioned earlier, MIT has its own power plant, with wires running underground. The buildings are all quite sturdy and have lots of shelter. We have loads of police, EMTs, and our own hospital on campus. Nowhere is perfectly safe – but MIT is as safe as it can get.

6 responses to “MIT IreneCam”

  1. Mikey says:

    Hah! I am sitting here in Cambridge with power (knock on wood)…although a very large tree branch just came down on my driveway. Good thing I don’t have a car or it would have a large part of a tree on/in it right now, heh.

  2. Chris Peterson SM '13 says:

    Yeah well I got power back a little after noon. Kind of surprised – normally when we lose power out here it’s because a tree took out a link in the chain and then they have to get that back up. But it might have just been a blown transformer this time.

    Still high winds to come late tonight, so we’ll see…but overall, we all got really lucky.

  3. Quinton says:

    Thanks dude. I’m in DC this weekend and I was wondering what things looked like in Cambridge and now I know. Good job.

  4. Chris Peterson SM '13 says:

    You know I’m here for you Q.

  5. Yoni Miller says:

    I’ve never managed to see a weather report as exciting and interesting as this blog post right here!!

  6. Chris Peterson SM '13 says:

    …and just lost power in southern NH. Classic. Glad I got this blog out in time!