The National Weather Service offers radar data free from its website and is relatively easy to use. The resolution of the imagery is a little grainy, and there’s no way to plot your position on the map, and its zooming capabilities are limited.
You’ll also need Flash installed on your computer to run the loops, which some may object to for security reasons. There is also no app available, as the News can’t compete with private services due to Federal law.
Cons Resolution is grainy No way to plot your position on the map Requires Flash player Created by Avalon Apps, NOAA WeatherRadar Live is an excellent alternative to using the News radar site on your phone.
If the lack of lightning and warning data of NOAA WeatherRadar Live is an issue, we’d recommend The Weather Channel’s app instead. While obviously, it’s a more general weather app, there are some great radar features that we think are worth mentioning.
If we had to pick a negative with this one, it’s that the app smooths radar imagery too much to make it look attractive on the screen. A few months back, The Weather Channel launched a fee-based feature called Premium Radar.
It offers much higher resolution images, including the forecast radar imagery we talked about earlier. In addition to radar, it overlays wind data information in a fluid and visually appealing way.
You can layer all kinds of things on top, from precipitation to cloud cover, and even browse through weather model data. It also might be a bit too complex for the average user to understand, so we’d recommend some other weather websites and apps if you’re looking for something easy to use.
While it doesn’t smooth the radar images to the degree The Weather Channel’s app does, it is still enough that it may cause some inaccuracy. The site has the most extensive collection of personal weather stations in the world, and this data is put on the map with the radar giving you a much more comprehensive picture of what’s going on at a particular location.
Pros Offers hyper local weather conditions Lots of information from its extensive PCs network Although it doesn’t have nearly the reputation it had a decade ago, Weathering is still around and still offering hyper local current weather conditions on its website thanks to its network of weather stations situated at homes, schools, television stations, and other locations throughout the world.
Stepping up to the Pro Tier 1 subscription for $9.99 per year gets you longer animations and lightning data (a must for outdoor enthusiasts), dual pane capability, and inspection tools. While the top end Tier 2 package adds in hail and shear contouring (the latter necessary for tornado formation), as well as multi-platform use and a 30-day radar archive.
Whatever option you choose, any of the weather radar websites and apps above will keep you informed in the event severe weather strikes. I've had a lifelong interest in the weather spanning more than 30 years, culminating with the pursuit of a Meteorology degree from Minersville University in Pennsylvania.
You might have seen my work on Digital Trends, PC World, VentureBeat, or even the New York Times website. At Weather Station Advisor, I joined the team to provide you with the best reviews, recommendations and advice to get the most out of your investment.
As I've found out on my own, weather stations aren't cheap, and it's easy to make a costly mistake. Note: Radar products are designed for optimal performance on modern desktop and mobile browsers, such as Firefox and Chrome.
Tonight: Clouds build back in with isolated Drizzle South of M-55. Highs are still mild reaching the 30s to low 40s with SE winds at 5-15 mph.
Friday: System Weakens with limited snow or even drizzle The L.P. deals with scattered snow showers and/or patchy drizzle.
The atmosphere then begins changing, delivering some lake effect snow. The lake effect continues through early next week as highs drop into the 20s for many areas.
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