Hail, Meso, TVS indicators?

Jeff Whitworth

Some time ago I downloaded the "4 Warn Alert" program (from KFOR.com) for my computer at work. For the general public, its main appeal is probably that it will alert you of new watches/warnings in your area. However, I like the radar during severe weather. You can zoom in and out (although the resolution's not great when you zoom all the way in). The radar will identify storms and give information about their direction of movement, the likely hail size, and whether a MESO or TVS (tornadic vortex signature?) is present.

My question is whether there are any other sources that also give this data (i.e. storm identification, hail, MESO, TVS) in case the program decides not to work for some reason.
 
Originally posted by David Drummond
I think weathertap does this.

You can get the storm table at least from the java version (radarlab?). This is a pay service - as is GRR, I'm not sure of public places where you can get the storm table data 'free' real time. Does anyone else have a free source?

Glen
 
Originally posted by Skip Talbot
Do you mean something like this, Glen?

http://www.stormnet.org/maps/stormtrax.asp

Thanks Skip, but I'd have to be pretty desperate to use that. Old info and not practical for tracking particular storms where every table from every radar in the US is composited. If you had a line of cells, you'd need to be sure which one had the circulation - not a ballbark guesstimate, so the crude plot doesn't cut it for me. This is a standard NIDS product, simple text and small, so it surprises me how little it is broadcast. Any other sources out there that anyone knows of?

Glen
 
I know http://weatherunderground.com does this as well

You just have to go to what ever area you want to look at. if there's something occurring there it will give you the option to put storm tags to it. you can zoom in as well. something to check out if you want.
 
Just to add one more to the list. Intellicast.com does the same thing as well. Its only updated once an hour though but its free so this might be a possible resource for you.

Darin
 
is storm lab a good piece of software and worth the money? What would be a better buy*... the gibson ridge radar software or Stormlab?
Thanks!
 
GR has much more detail - it plots TVS/Meso indicators over the actual location, and also has more information available like strength / dimensions of rotation etc. SL only plots the TVS/Meso over the center of the storm (which is not where the rotation is) and doesn't contain the details. They're both fine for basic radar interpretation, but if you want all the available info go with GR.
 
That Intellicast.com/WSI site is pretty decent. I've found that the "Radar Summary" updates every 15minutes. Also, if you pay for it (or stop by an FBO at a nearby airport, hint hint) it'll go into motion.

Dan Moses
 
Originally posted by Khristian Snyder
is storm lab a good piece of software and worth the money? What would be a better but... the gibson ridge radar software or Stormlab?
Thanks!

I use weathertap a lot - but I don't have to pay for it so that's an easy choice. The Gibson Ridge product I agree is excellent for radar - but that is all you get. With weathertap - you also get lightning, sat, local forecasts and lightning data. I'm not sure what the rates are for these products - maybe someone else can chime in on that. If you want the radar for while chasing - you'll also want to consider which product is the smallest download - so you can get radar updates on slow modems fast. The weathertap java product seems slow - but I've never tried the Gibson Ridge stuff on a slow connection - it could be as bad/worse.

Glen
 
The GR advantage is that it only downloads the raw data, 10-20K tops, and your side makes an image out of it. Works great on a 14.4K cell modem...
 
Originally posted by David Drummond
I think weathertap does this.

David , do you often use WEather Tap?This is because sometimes it seems to me that some UNCO or 3DCO are wrong. That is sometimes storm doesn't rotate from radial velocity and also from basic reflectivity but Wether tap show rotations. I don't know why...
 
You need to have a very good eye to find UNCO/3DCO shears as they usually have no meteorological value and are usually just a result of the algorithm... And you need to look at all tilts (and I mean _all_) to find it.

- Rob
 
Originally posted by Andrea Griffa
This is because sometimes it seems to me that some UNCO or 3DCO are wrong. That is sometimes storm doesn't rotate from radial velocity and also from basic reflectivity but Wether tap show rotations. I don't know why...

Weathertap does not run their own algorithms to find this rotation - these shear zones are found by the algorithms run by the weather service - and a text product of these features is sent with the radar data feed, including the locations of the features (in range - azimuth from radar) tied with storm ids. What weathertap does is map the features over the radar images. A problem that often appears in the display is that the radar images don't update at the same time that the storm attribute table does - which can lead to considerable offset. Further, the images you are seeing are interpolated from the level II data, which is in polar coordinates, to level III data that is in cartesian coordinates, and this can lead to smoothing of features. Further, as rdale noted, the algorithm looks at all levels - not just the scan elevation you might be looking at, to find storm features. There can often be considerable tilt in the storm - so the strongest shear zone identified by the algorithm might be offset pretty far from the scan elevation you are looking at.

Glen
 
And again it is showing the indication over the storm centroid as opposed to the actual location like GRLevel3 uses...
 
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