Random thoughts about the weather and life. I may even vent every now and then. Since 2004!
Monday, December 10, 2012
KAIT and RadarScope Partnership
To my knowledge, KAIT is the first station in Arkansas to offer RadarScope on our website, free of charge. RadarScope has been a leader for radar products on Smartphones for quite awhile and now it is available on your desktop computer by clicking here. Bookmark that site for future use! There are some things to consider when using these products. For one, there are a lot of radar products that the general public will not understand. That doesn't mean that we should not make it available, just know that people are not experts just because they can access the data. But, there is a TON of information on this new feature! Lets first show you how to get started. This is what the page looks like when you go the link above AND click on the RadarScope tab:
You can click the image above to enlarge it. Notice that this is a "National Mosaic" which is not a high resolution radar product. This product is used to see radar from a wider perspective as seen above. The box in the lower-center part of the screen shows what product you are seeing. To access high resolution, click the button shown below. This will give you access to Level 2 radar from various radar sites...
Once again, you can see what product you are using by checking the lower-center box. The default for Level 2 radar is Single-Site reflectivity. This simply shows you where it is raining, snowing, etc. You can zoom down to street-level and track the storms! If you click on the products available, you can click several products, including velocity data! This is the data that shows you what the winds are doing within storms. We show this quite often in tornado coverage! I clicked on a radar site in Mississippi to show you a storm that has a tornado warning this monring. The first image is a little busy because I have the "warnings" turned on from the "i" button. The second image is just velocity:
You can also access the new "Dual Polarization" products from the radar. The one that might interest the general public more than anything is the Hydrometeor Classification. This is a product that tries to pinpoint "what" is falling from the sky. Rain, snow, hail, sleet, and even ducks at times! Keep in mind, due to the curvature of the Earth, the radar beam gets higher as it gets farther from the radar site. Sometimes, it may say "snow", but the snow is 5,000 feet above our head, melting and falling as rain. THERE ARE LIMITATIONS to most radar products. Here is an example of HC1:
My point is... we are offering a ton of information for you, BUT you have to know the limitations. If there is a tornado event going on, we will be on air to explain it. If there is a winter storm, we will be on air to explain it. You can grab a laptop and follow along now!
So, what are your thoughts? Feel free to comment, leave Facebook comments, or tweet me. Feedback is encouraged!!! I'll try to answer any questions in another blog post.