Non-Road Boards > Weather

Best Radar Websites Or Apps?

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US 89:

--- Quote from: I-55 on April 15, 2021, 11:19:19 PM ---
--- Quote from: US 89 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.

--- Quote from: I-55 on April 14, 2021, 03:01:39 AM ---RadarScope also has dualPol, CC, VIL, Precipitation Depiction (snow, rain, mix), storm total rainfall, and some other weird products.

--- End quote ---

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

--- End quote ---

Only for those who know how to use them!

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

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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.


--- Quote from: Road Hog 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:

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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.


--- Quote from: hobsini2 on June 16, 2021, 09:02:21 PM ---If I am home on my PC, I like to use Gibson Ridge.

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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.

I just learned this past summer that has a feature where you can see the doppler velocities, rather than just the reflectivity as we usually see, so you can see the red/green map meteorologists use to identify tornadoes.


--- Quote from: paulthemapguy on September 30, 2021, 02:34:46 PM ---I just learned this past summer that has a feature where you can see the doppler velocities, rather than just the reflectivity as we usually see, so you can see the red/green map meteorologists use to identify tornadoes.

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If you select a local radar rather than national radar, the .gov site shows super resolution base reflectivity, super resolution base velocity, dual-polarization precipitation type, dual-polarization differential reflectivity, high resolution echo tops, one hour precipitation accumulation, storm-relative motion, digital storm total, storm total precipitation, base velocity, composite reflectivity, and high resolution VIL.

I don't know know that VIL is, but it's measured in kilograms per square meter.  I don't know what differential reflectivity is, or the difference between storm total and digital storm total.  I need to go back to radar school.  I remember seeing the old radar, with reflectivity only, on television, and when I learned about it, all we had was reflectivity and velocity.  There's a significant suite of products available.  Most of them are usable only when you select a local radar, I'm guessing that's because the data is based on a single source, and compositing it from multiple sources may not work very well.  You can look at an area on a different radar if you want to see another angle.

The resolution is not as high as you see on television.  NWS uses high-power radars, which can see a long way and can see through a storm and detect another storm behind it, but the resolution is lower.  The little radars that are being deployed in my area in a denser grid every 20 or 30 miles are low-power; they give a lot of detail, but they're easily blinded by a storm and can't see very far.  As far as I know, their output is not available to the public.  As I understand it, television stations use medium-power radar, which is in between.  It can give a reasonable level of resolution, for nice television, and can just about cover a media market area.


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