Here’s something you won’t be seeing in any advertisements for the power of Android apps any time soon: it only took one of them to get the forecasting website for the National Weather Service to have all kinds of problems yesterday.
As reported on Gawker, people who visited forecast.weather.gov on Monday afternoon consistently received old information or had trouble loading the page at all. Here’s what the National Weather Service had to say when it investigated the problem:
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.
Yep, Android app one, National Weather Service servers zero. In plain English, it appears the app in question was demanding information from the NWS too frequently, causing the whole system to bog down.
Which app? Only the government weather folks and, presumably, the app’s developers know for sure, but here’s hoping this isn’t something that is a regular occurrence going forward.