Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Warm & Fuzzy Radar

The above image was taken this evening from the NWS Amarillo Doppler radar. It is "unsmoothed", somewhat pixelated, data that would be closest to "raw" data from the radar. Meteorologically speaking, it is the best way to view a storm. HOWEVER, in the world of "curves", we tend to "smooth" the data for television. Continue reading...
We usually use the first level of smoothing at KAIT with StormTRACK Doppler 8 (above image). Notice it still maintains some of it's detail and is not quite as "curved" or "rounded off" as the image below....
The image above is "highly" smoothed on our radar system. Everything is curved off and there is NO pixelation.

So, what are the pros and cons. Well, the smoothed data to many people looks better. However, you lose a some detail when you smooth the data. Here at KAIT we will smooth the data "a little" on air usually, but keep it unsmoothed behind the scenes.

Recently the NWS underwent some upgrades to make radar data available in a higher resolution. Some stations use it, some don't. Most of the stations that do not do use it are tied to some bandwidth limitations. It takes a lot of bandwidth! Anywho, with the advancement of Super Resolution data, I'm considering a move to "no smoothing" during severe weather events to gain detail of the storms. It's not as "TV Friendly", but it is much better to see what is occuring.
For fun, click on the 1st image and 3rd image to enlarge and compare. Can you see the detail that you miss?


If you REALLY want to read up on this a little more, read this discussion board.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think you should use the map that helps you the most!!!!