Radar Software You Use & Why

Currently I use stormlab from Interwarn. Ive tried Swiftwx, but there is too much going on that program to where my pc just lags. StormPredator seems to be too pretty to be good and Im still looking for something better than all the others...

I am a composite ref addict. Thats basically all I ever use.

Id like to hear what you guys use to keep you ahead of the storm,etc.

-gerrit
 
Currently I use stormlab from Interwarn. Ive tried Swiftwx, but there is too much going on that program to where my pc just lags. StormPredator seems to be too pretty to be good and Im still looking for something better than all the others...

I am a composite ref addict. Thats basically all I ever use.

Id like to hear what you guys use to keep you ahead of the storm,etc.

-gerrit

There's a pretty large number of people who use GRLevelX (GR2, GR2AE, or GR3)... There are a few threads about radar apps that may still be available through a forum search (and there's one ongoing about a Java app in Weather Equipment).
 
I can also vouch for the GrlevelX programs. They are the best radar software programs available in my opinion.
 
I favorites are GRLevel2 and GRLevel2 AE... The AE application is probably the best L2 viewer out there. I used to dream about having access to WDSS2, but those days are long gone ;)
 
I'm using GRLevel3.

Here's why I like it:

I get the Level III information by tabbing to the view I want. I can split the screen 4 ways and get all views. I get reasonably accurate mapping. The downloads are small enough to not overload my cell connection. I get METAR information, I have the option of using more reliable data feeds via Allisonhouse (There's your plug Tyler!) I have close to real time warnings and watches, I can zoom in pretty close, My station can track my progress and proximity to a storm. I can track others on the network with Allisonhouse software (Dang! another plug for Tyler). I have a multitude of "place files" that can pull up several different pieces of information. I can create my own place files.

It's software navigation is relatively easy. It has GPS integration. I can create different backgrounds, I can create my own color schemes for the various Level III products.

Cons: Better have a computer capable of running it. Mobo based video cards are tough to use, but can be run in non-smooth mode. Usiing shared memory, it can be a system hog.

I use it frequently when I'm doing public events, school lectures, etc. It's something else to be able to show the school kids a real active storm on "live" radar just like the TV Mets. It's come in handy at a couple of outdoor school functions where the only way of knowing what was coming was via phone.

Darn nice piece of software and you can actually talk to the developer on the support board.
 
I agree with what's been said so far. The GRLevelx family of products are the best radar viewers available.

-John
 
I have all of the GRLevelX products and StormLab as well. I am actually happy with both. I am interested to see what Evan has up his sleeve on the next StormLab upgrade. I hear that it will blow you out of the water!
 
GRLevel fan here also. I like the options and views. Easy to use. Good forum support. Responsive administrator. I bought it a few years ago and upgrades are free. You have the ability to overlay METARS, warnings, etc.
Very happy with it.
Laura
 
The biggest thing I have noted with using any and all software for radar is if you are in the field - range. Can you use the radar where you want to? What is your chase territory going to be. I don't want this to get into an XM vs. Grlevel vs. Swift debate - all companies make a very good product.

If you are going for "Eh, I'm only going to chase in and around major cities, or areas where I have data" then by all means, GRlevelX or Swift is the software for you.

If you are going to be out in the field, and you aren't bothered by sitting on the reservation waiting for initation, then look into XM, as you won't be bothered with "Am I within data range or not?"

When I'm in the field, I tend to use Swift, but when the going gets tough, or when data is spotty (Part of NE, SD, and KS) I'll be XMing it all the way.

Things I like about Swift: National Radar - don't have to worry about "Am I in range of this site or not?"
Position tracking - I personally think it's better in Swift, than on SpotterNetwork. JMHO.
Interface is also really slick. yeah, it doesn't have smoothing, but it also doesn't rely on the NWS servers as much. While GRLevelX relys on the NWS servers, or AllisonHouse's, Swift has their own set. So, when everyone is pounding the heck out of NWS's servers on a big day, Swift is on their own, and they have a dedicated set of feeds which, incase one is down, it will switch to the backup set without a hitch. You don't need to do anything - it just automatically does it.

Things I like about GRlevelX:
Very pretty. Quick interface. It integrates very well with AllisonHouses' feed and SpotterNetwork. You can write add on features for it with relative ease.

XM: Range baby, range. Doesn't have all the cool features of Swift Or GRlevelX, but it's got range. Middle of Candoo, ND? You got data. Sandhill Region, You got data. Sitting on the Res in SD, You got data. Also, when the Cell Phone towers get taken out by lightning, you still got data.

That kind of sums it up for me, but it's totally up to you - find something you are comfortable with, and something within your price range. All three companies make very good products, and each product has their die-hard fans. I just happen to prefer Swift and XM.

HTH,

-Eric
 
i used to just use NWS radar, but i bought GRlevel3 last year, and i've put in quite a few placefiles for it like METAR readings, watches, convective outlook areas, etc. very good program and very good price.
 
I have been using SwiftWx for the last two years. It is a good product with alot of great features but, I chase alot in rural areas where cell coverage is spotty. Many times I have lost signal during critical times. I just purchased WXWorx which uses satellite technology. I am hoping for more consistent data updates.
 
ya know, I too have used swiftWx, and I love how they try to keep their product up to date with the latest of this or that. I am finding that it is now becoming too large of a program. What I mean is that the application is quite resource intensive. Unless you have a pretty "beefy" laptop, the app is slow to respond and so on. Wish they could "trim" it down a bit in the resource dept, as I think the app has good potential.
 
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