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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.

Sincerely,

Ron


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 
>> possible
>>
>> 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
>> overkill.
>>
>> 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:
>
> http://radar.weather.gov/ridge/lite/N0R/FFC_0.png
>
> 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:
>
> http://radar.weather.gov/ridge/radar_lite.php?rid=ffc&product=N0R&loop=no
>
> 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.)

Ron Frazier
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linuxdude AT techstarship.com
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