If you've been trying to look up your forecast on the National Weather Service's website this afternoon, you may have noticed that the forecasts are days out of date or not loading at all. Apparently, this is the result of a single "abusive" Android app overloading the agency's servers.
The National Weather Service's Telecommunication Operation Center sent out an alert on its status page this afternoon:
TO - ALL CUSTOMERS
SUBJECT - POINT FORECAST ISSUES
WE ARE PROVIDING NOTICE TO ALL THAT NIDS HAS IDENTIFIED AN ABUSING ANDROID APP THAT IS IMPACTING FORECAST.WEATHER.GOV. WE HAVE FORCED ALL SITES TO ZONES WHILE WE WORK WITH THE DEVELOPER. AKAMAI IS BEING ENGAGED TO BLOCK THE APPLICATION. WE CONTINUE TO WORK ON THIS ISSUE AND APPRECIATE YOUR PATIENCE AS WE WORK TO RESOLVE THIS ISSUE.
. NIDS - KM
In other words, a single Android app took down the most visited portion of the National Weather Service's website, and the agency is in the process of using an anti-DDoS service to block the app.
Major telecom issues are nothing new for the National Weather Service. The agency experienced its most public communications failure earlier this summer when several forecast offices couldn't issue severe weather warnings in a timely manner. In one case, an EF-3 tornado near Albany, New York went virtually unwarned due to the communications outage.
The update from the NWS claims that forecasts are currently available on a "zone" basis (countywide forecasts as opposed to the hyper-local gridded forecasts that cover one or two square miles), but as of this post's publication, all local forecasts are still unavailable.
[Screenshot via weather.gov]