Best Of 2006

Best Weather Detection System Named for a Deadly Snake: Volumetric Imaging and Processing of Integrated Radar (VIPIR)

It’s gotten to the point where even watching the local weather report proves to be a nerve fryer. Hurricane Jimbo tearing across the Gulf? Tornados in Wauchula? It’s a thousand degrees and Bayshore’s flooded? Oh my! Many local TV stations have upgraded their gear recently, switching to a new system for processing radar data called Volumetric Imaging and Processing of Integrated Radar, or VIPIR. VIPIR allows meteorologists to look at 3-D renderings of storms, make more accurate forecasts and keep the viewers better informed. Sounds great, and if it saves lives fantastic, but why give it a scary name like VIPIR? Isn’t the threat of a Cat-4 horrifying enough already without adding acronyms that seem coiled and ready to strike?