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Author Topic: Best Radar Websites Or Apps?  (Read 1182 times)

CoreySamson

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Best Radar Websites Or Apps?
« on: April 09, 2021, 10:31:14 PM »

I'm trying to find a new radar website because the ones I've been using are either buggy, laggy, out of service (Intellicast) or uninformative (aka Weather Channel and Wunderground). Anybody here got a favorite?
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Re: Best Radar Websites Or Apps?
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2021, 11:06:17 PM »

I use this version of the NWS radar, accessible from Little Rock's office
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Re: Best Radar Websites Or Apps?
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2021, 11:24:24 PM »

I use the College of DuPage radar site. The real fancy stuff is reserved for Chicagoland, but it has pretty good functionality wih lots of overlay options. I use it for North Texas here:

https://weather.cod.edu/satrad/?parms=local-Wichita_Falls-comp_radar-24-0-100-1&checked=counties-map&colorbar=undefined
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Re: Best Radar Websites Or Apps?
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2021, 12:46:23 AM »

I use GRLevel3. It's pretty pricy ($80) but I live in Central Oklahoma, so...
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Re: Best Radar Websites Or Apps?
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2021, 01:22:14 AM »

I use the College of DuPage radar site. The real fancy stuff is reserved for Chicagoland, but it has pretty good functionality wih lots of overlay options. I use it for North Texas here:

https://weather.cod.edu/satrad/?parms=local-Wichita_Falls-comp_radar-24-0-100-1&checked=counties-map&colorbar=undefined

You can change the radar location to get the "fancy stuff" for anywhere... well, anywhere near one of the 150 or so NEXRAD sites.

My favorite radar source these days is actually the RadarScope mobile app. Easily the best $10 I ever spent.

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Re: Best Radar Websites Or Apps?
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2021, 09:21:57 AM »

RadarScope is great for iOS/Android. Highly worth it if you live in an area that experiences severe weather or you are just a geek for weather.
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Re: Best Radar Websites Or Apps?
« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2021, 09:36:13 AM »

RadarScope is great for iOS/Android. Highly worth it if you live in an area that experiences severe weather or you are just a geek for weather.

Seconded. RadarScope is pretty much the best radar app available, you get all the dual-pol and high-res products, and you even get access to some international radars (Canada, Japan, and South Korea for instance). It does cost money ($9.99) but is absolutely worth every penny.

On a semi-related note, there is an app called RealEarth developed by the University of Wisconsin - Madison Space Science and Engineering Center (UW-SSEC) that has dozens of global satellite image products available, and it's free. It is a little buggy but it's very useful, particularly for tropical cyclone tracking.
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Re: Best Radar Websites Or Apps?
« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2021, 02:12:35 PM »

Do any of these radar apps being mentioned offer access to velocity data or just base reflectivity? Reflectivity is fine if you just want to know if there's a storm or not, but embedded rotation can often only be seen on velocity data (especially before a storm is organized enough to present a hook echo on reflectivity).
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Re: Best Radar Websites Or Apps?
« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2021, 03:04:12 PM »

Do any of these radar apps being mentioned offer access to velocity data or just base reflectivity? Reflectivity is fine if you just want to know if there's a storm or not, but embedded rotation can often only be seen on velocity data (especially before a storm is organized enough to present a hook echo on reflectivity).

RadarScope has the full suite of velocity products, similar to GRLevel3.
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I-55

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Re: Best Radar Websites Or Apps?
« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2021, 03:01:39 AM »

Do any of these radar apps being mentioned offer access to velocity data or just base reflectivity? Reflectivity is fine if you just want to know if there's a storm or not, but embedded rotation can often only be seen on velocity data (especially before a storm is organized enough to present a hook echo on reflectivity).

RadarScope has the full suite of velocity products, similar to GRLevel3.

RadarScope also has dualPol, CC, VIL, Precipitation Depiction (snow, rain, mix), storm total rainfall, and some other weird products.

In the Pro Tier I you get lightning data, and Pro Tier II offers shear, SPC outlooks and discussions and more. The $99 per year for tier two isn't really worth it for me, $9.99 per year for Tier I is more reasonable imo. I stuck with the basic package and it always serves me well enough.

It's also nice to be able to click on polygons to see their official warning from the NWS.
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Re: Best Radar Websites Or Apps?
« Reply #10 on: April 14, 2021, 03:55:55 AM »

GRLevel3 at least is a one-time charge of $80. I think it contains everything you mentioned in Pro Tier II, though I don't remember if it has lightning data (since I am always focused on tornadoes it might have it and I just have it turned off).
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Re: Best Radar Websites Or Apps?
« Reply #11 on: April 14, 2021, 09:31:01 AM »

GRLevel3 at least is a one-time charge of $80. I think it contains everything you mentioned in Pro Tier II, though I don't remember if it has lightning data (since I am always focused on tornadoes it might have it and I just have it turned off).

I have GRLevel2 and it doesn't have lightning strike data, at least not that I know of. RadarScope also has storm tracking with organized cells, along with estimated hail diameter and TVS/mesocyclone parameters.
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Re: Best Radar Websites Or Apps?
« Reply #12 on: April 15, 2021, 02:15:50 AM »

I see no need to spend money on a lightning map when I can get a separate app that does that for free.

RadarScope also has dualPol, CC, VIL, Precipitation Depiction (snow, rain, mix), storm total rainfall, and some other weird products.

Hey, those “weird” products are useful!  :poke:

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Re: Best Radar Websites Or Apps?
« Reply #13 on: April 15, 2021, 08:13:19 AM »

While not a weather radar app, the Real Time Lightning Map is my go-to page when there are thunderstorms in the DFW area.
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Re: Best Radar Websites Or Apps?
« Reply #14 on: April 15, 2021, 11:19:19 PM »

I see no need to spend money on a lightning map when I can get a separate app that does that for free.

RadarScope also has dualPol, CC, VIL, Precipitation Depiction (snow, rain, mix), storm total rainfall, and some other weird products.

Hey, those “weird” products are useful!  :poke:

Only for those who know how to use them!

I'm still trying to figure out echo tops...
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Re: Best Radar Websites Or Apps?
« Reply #15 on: April 16, 2021, 12:41:24 AM »

I see no need to spend money on a lightning map when I can get a separate app that does that for free.

RadarScope also has dualPol, CC, VIL, Precipitation Depiction (snow, rain, mix), storm total rainfall, and some other weird products.

Hey, those “weird” products are useful!  :poke:

Only for those who know how to use them!

I'm still trying to figure out echo tops...

That's just the height of the top of an area of precipitation indicated by the radar. General rule of thumb is the higher the top of a thunderstorm is, the stronger it will be.

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Re: Best Radar Websites Or Apps?
« Reply #16 on: June 16, 2021, 09:02:21 PM »

I use the College of DuPage radar site. The real fancy stuff is reserved for Chicagoland, but it has pretty good functionality wih lots of overlay options. I use it for North Texas here:

https://weather.cod.edu/satrad/?parms=local-Wichita_Falls-comp_radar-24-0-100-1&checked=counties-map&colorbar=undefined
You're welcome.  I was a product of that meteorology program during the early 2000s.

To answer the original question, there are a few apps I use depending on if I am chasing or just want general weather.
General weather:
Weather Underground is useful for timing of storms and temperature.  They also have a great tropical storm section. I use this most often for "everyday" use.

Storm chasing:
My Radar: Good Doppler Radar site. You get any NWS radar site nationwide. You get vorticity values for gate to gate shear. It shows what the "risk" areas are for the day and allows you to read the Convective Outlooks from SPC. It will also automatically send a notification of any severe weather warnings that affect the county you are in.

Radar Alive Pro: Again, all the NWS radar sites nationwide. Some of the products per site are Base reflectivity, VIL (used for hail size), Velocity, Storm Relative Velocity, Echo Tops and Dual Polarity.  Unllike My Radar, this one will simplify the map to how you want it. You can choose to show interstates, state and US highways, county lines, a few to a lot of town names. It will also show you exact position. It will not label the roads though.

If I am home on my PC, I like to use Gibson Ridge. http://www.grlevelx.com/
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Scott5114

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Re: Best Radar Websites Or Apps?
« Reply #17 on: June 17, 2021, 03:19:02 PM »

If I am home on my PC, I like to use Gibson Ridge. http://www.grlevelx.com/

Fun fact about the GRLevel apps, should anyone need it—GRLevel3 works more or less flawlessly on Linux under WINE. The only thing that is broken is the timer that shows the amount of time until the next radar update, which I believe is probably because the system clock on Linux is usually set to UTC and only converted to local time when needed (since Linux doesn't assume all users of a system will be in the same time zone), and GRLevel3 probably assumes the system clock is local time, which is normally true under Windows. But even with the timer showing a hilariously wrong time to the next update, it still refreshes at the proper times as it should.
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