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[ale] [OT] need live weather radar display
Hi Alex, and all,
Just wanted to say thanks for the info provided on this topic. I
haven't had any chance to pursue it further, but hope to later.
On 4/2/2013 7:40 PM, Alex Carver wrote:
> On 4/2/2013 16:02, Ron Frazier (ALE) wrote:
>> Hi all,
>> The following is something I've been periodically searching for for a
>> few years. I need a firefox plugin or website or even a windows and
>> linux native app that can display live weather radar on my screen. It
>> must have the following features.
>> * capable of sitting off in a corner of the screen in a 2" x 2" to 4" x
>> 4" window
>> * shows current radar when activated and the time the data is from
>> * location of the active radar data source can be chosen, unless it
>> shows multiple ones
>> * map should be zoomable and scrollable
>> * street maps and city names should show up under the radar image
>> * radar image transparency should be controllable
>> * preferably, should reestablish it's settings and location and size
>> when restarted
>> * I do not need radar animation, just the current status.
>> * MUST! auto update every few minutes when the weather service issues
>> new radar data, no less often than every 15 minutes, more often if
>> Essentially, I want a little box on my screen to always look as if I'd
>> tuned to the weather radar channel on tv. Trying to go to the tv
>> station's website and put that in a window doesn't work too well
>> either. I can go to weather.com and display a map and shrink it, but it
>> doesn't look too great, requires me to re establish the window when I
>> restart firefox, and doesn't auto update.
>> I just want to be able to glance at this little window at any time and
>> see what's coming my way. I thought about buying one of those $ 50
>> android tablets at big lots just to run a radar app, but that seems like
>> As I said, I've been searching for something like this for a while and
>> haven't found it.
>> Any help is greatly appreciated.
> Radar data isn't updated very fast in mild weather. In severe
> weather, the volume scan speed is increased and the number of slices
> is reduced to speed things up but it's still pretty long (about 8
> minutes or so for a WSR-88 reduced scan if I recall). So faster than
> 15 minutes is probably not going to be of much use.
> Now, what you could do is use links to the radar PNGs and write a
> little web page (with your own local server) that simply serves an
> image into the browser of your choice. I use KMeleon for this even
> though it's no longer supported. I have several "utilities" running
> on my own internal servers and on any Windows machine I use KMeleon
> just for viewing those (never for external sites). The neat thing
> about Kmeleon is that it's very lightweight and it can remember window
> configurations (it calls them "Views") so you can pull up a whole
> bunch of pages at once with one click. I have four monitors running
> on an internal server on one of my side screens using Kmeleon (wall
> outlet voltage measurement with graph, indoor/outdoor temp/humidity
> with graph, current weather conditions and 7-day forecast from NWS
> feed, a webcam that looks out the front window). When I restart the
> machine, one click brings them all back, window sizes included.
> In any event, you can get the FFC base reflectivity radar (general
> Atlanta area) at:
> And just refresh that every 15 minutes. Has a timestamp in the file
> and everything.
> The PNG is not, however, zoomable, but the volume scan of a radar is
> of little use at the level of city streets which makes zooming a bit
> silly. Radar is very "blob like", low resolution and only is really
> useful at the size of cities or larger. Any of those gimmicky things
> you see on the news where they "zoom" the radar in on a city block is
> just extrapolated data. It would take too long and cost too much
> money to make a radar that could scan with enough detail to show
> clouds and precipitation at street level resolution.
> The data source for that PNG was:
> You can get other images from the same place like the composite scan,
> animated GIFs that would give you relative motion, and some broader
> maps, too.
(PS - If you email me and don't get a quick response, you might want to
call on the phone. I get about 300 emails per day from alternate energy
mailing lists and such. I don't always see new email messages very quickly.)
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