WeatherTap.com

davidwasserman

How many of you are familiar with this site?

http://www.weathertap.com/

I've been looking for either a real-time weather monitoring program or online site to use to keep track of the changing weather and storms in my area. I have been using the National Weather Service, but my instincts tell me I can do even better.

David
 
WeatherTap is a good site. GRLevelX pretty much made their radar views obsolete. I haven't used them in awhile, but I guess they still have great satellite access.

I'm pretty much able to find everything I need for free. Maybe some of the pay sites consolidate the information a little better. Save for lightning data (which is privately produced) everything else is free.
 
Dave:

Welcome to Stormtrack! I have been using WeatherTap.Com for several years and the service is well worth the low monthly payment---if you are really into weather.....lol.

You have many more options with their radar products and they are much more reliable when compared with the products that the NWS makes public. The NWS sites tend to get overloaded and then quit functioning if there is an event underway or there are several people attempting to access the data. As far as I know, I have never experienced such a meltdown with WeatherTap. But the NWS does the best it can with the resources that they have. No knocks towards to the NWS!!

Another site that is excellent AND Free, is the College of Dupage NexLab site. Their resources are vast, usually up-to-date, and free! The link to their "Analysis" Page is:
http://weather.cod.edu/analysis/

For up-to-the-minute Severe Thunderstorm, Tornado, and Flash Flood WARNINGS:
http://kamala.cod.edu/svr/

If I may suggest, always check the "time-stamp" on any product you get from any source, just to make sure that it is current and accurate. You might have to hit the refresh button on any or all of these sites to get the most up-to-the minute-NEXRAD scans.

Hope that this gives you some of the feedback that you are looking for.

Tom in Ft. Worth
 
Hi David

I have been using WeatherTap for years and keep thinking I am going to dump it for something else but never do because of its array of great products and its timeliness coupled with the low price. The satellite products are outstanding. I suggested they do a SatLab similar to the RadarLab they already had, and that was part of what got the ball rolling for the revamping of their satellite products. They didn't do a SatLab, but the satellite products they have are well worth it.

I do have a question for Gibson Ridge users: I have been thinking of getting a GRLevelX account but I need to know if there is lightning data. One reason I have never ended my WxTap account is because I can get slightly delayed lightning data for "free", but I need to know if the paying account of GR has lightning. I didn't see any lightning options on the free trial account for GR. Thanks

Paul
 
If money isn't too much of an obstacle - the ONLY way to go is GRLevelX.

See:-

http://www.grlevelx.com/

I have used this program for radar interpretation and chasing before and it's head and shoulders above anything else I have tried. Add to that the capability of adding street-level mapping for each and every county in each and every state......and it's no contest.

KL
 
Quite frankly RadarLab is pretty weak compared to GRLevelX software.

GRLevel X does not have lightning data because lightning data comes from a private network of detectors. GRLevel X uses free radar data. Unless you want to shell out big bucks lightning data is always delayed. Private companies don't shell out millions to setup a lightning network and give the data out for free.
 
In my opinion Weathertap is a thing of the past. It was great during it's prime, but with GRLevel3 and the ability to find basically the same weather data on other sites for free, weathertap is pretty much useless. GRLevel3 is by far the best when it comes to radar, and plus you only pay a 1-time fee for the software. I used weathertap for a long time, but then I discovered GRLevel3 and almost immediately I cancelled my subscription with Weathertap and haven't used them since.
 
I think I am going with Allison House's storm analyst package this spring. The Wx-tap was cool & adequate for some things but as things always played out, the most important things to me are good high definition radar info and the now expanded SPC meso page. COD Nexlab and Wx Caster are great backup sources. To me that would be the cheapest setup needed for weather stuff. I am also a fan of the Baron products, but still a little $$$ challenged before I can buck up for this...hopefully by next spring (2008).
 
At last check, to get realtime realtime lightning data, you need to get either the $7/month plan at WeatherTap, $50/month plan with WxWorx or $800/six months with Vaisala (and that is just for their regional viewer - it's more for nationwide data). WeatherTap by far is the cheapest way to get lightning, unless you need it mobile in which case ThreatNet is the way to go.

For me it's just easier to keep ThreatNet as my lightning data source since I use the radar in the car year round.
 
I prefer Grlevelx's radar quality and smoothing, but I don't like the fact that they have no regional views or radar - which I like for overall perspective. I continue to have Weathertap after many years. Perhaps they will wake up soon and develop higher quality / resolution radar products with smoothing. I note they already have Level II for regional views.
 
How many of you are familiar with this site?

http://www.weathertap.com/

David

That's almost funny as I was thinking of asking if anyone still is using WeatherTap? SwiftWx and then GRLevelX have pretty much trumped them in everything I used to use... Add in an allisonhouse data package with model data, METAR, lightning, spotternetwork.... What else would you want? Either application will do you well, better than wxtap, IMHO.

-John
 
Hi David

I do have a question for Gibson Ridge users: I have been thinking of getting a GRLevelX account but I need to know if there is lightning data. One reason I have never ended my WxTap account is because I can get slightly delayed lightning data for "free", but I need to know if the paying account of GR has lightning. I didn't see any lightning options on the free trial account for GR. Thanks

Paul

Many of this extra stuff all has to do with the placefiles you use or subscribe to. Here at ISU we get the lightning data for free so we can have it go into our GR's while on campus. For everyone else the package from AllisonHouse includes lightning data and i think its pretty cheap....
 
There are quite a few free GRx placefiles available, which will let you plot things like SPC products (watches, mesoscale discussions, convective outlooks, etc), surface observations (METARS -- ASOS/AWOS -- and various mesonets like the Oklahoma Mesonet, West Texas Mesonet, and so forth), and Skywarn / spotter-related repeaters, all on top (or beneath) the radar imagery. Speed and ease-of-use are next to none, and the dynamic placefile ability is one of the most valuable features. And hey, you can always make your own placefiles if you wish...

As others have said, Allisonhouse does provide lightning data for like $10/mo (includes a slew of placefiles and a reliable source for L3 radar data), and you can make your own lightning placefile if you have access to the data (I just finished up mine).

To bring this back on topic a little bit... I subscribed to WxTap.com back in the late-90s. I let the subscription expire when CoD picked up all 88Ds in the US (after the expiration of NIDS exclusivity), and I've been using GR software for the past couple of years (starting with the original sub-version 1 beta builds).

Allisonhouse has a free placefile feed, and I provide placefiles for free as well (see my GRLevelX Placefiles page).

I wouldn't recommend anything but GRLevel3 (in the least, and GR2AE if you have the money) nowadays. This is not a shot at the other radar viewing applications or services. Rather, it's a testament to the quality of the GR program suite!
 
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Not all lightning data for the weather providers mentioned in this thread come from the same source. For the weather enthusiast, this may not make a difference, but in the forecasting, energy, insurance, and aviation markets where optimal performance is valued it is of significant importance.

Vaisala's National Lightning Detection Network (NLDN)
  • National Weather Service
  • NOAAPort
  • Baron's WxWorx
Weather Decision Technology / TOA's U.S. Precision Lightning Network (USPLN)
  • WeatherTap
  • GrLevelX / AllisonHouse
 
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With GRLevelX, what's the difference between GRLevel2, GRLeve3 & GRLevelAnalyst?
 
Anyone here use Storm Lab? I used to love using it but after discovering GrLevel3 I haven't used it since.

I had a demo version of storm lab a while back and thought it was great but the initial cost vs functionality kept me away, especially given the pro version was much more costly just to have the benefit of metars overlaid. Grlevelx and other software such as Unidata’s IDV made me never look back.

About a year ago just for the heck of it I visited the Storm Lab forums and did a search for GrlevelX vs Storm Lab. Needless to say all threads regarding such a comparison were banned and a number of claims that GrlevelX stole concepts from Storm Lab came to light. When I used Google's cached page search I discovered a number of threads which had been deleted where owners of Storm Lab basically said GrlevelX is superior within the Storm Lab forum itself. I think that pretty much explains everything!!!

So until something comes into existence which is much cheaper than Baron but has the same coverage, more data products and the high resolution radar capabilities and functionality of GrlevelX, Mike's software will continue to dominate.
 
I used to use weathertap but then I discovered GrLevelX and weathertap went out the window.
 
I have to laugh at the irony. I am perusing my trial version of GRLevel3 and all of the radar data is from a few minutes past 4 AM CST today. Not a very good selling point. Can any users verify this, and let me know why this is? I assume if GR is doing some maintanence or having data feed problems that you have gotten some message indicating as such. Other radar sources are not having this problem.
 
I have to laugh at the irony. I am perusing my trial version of GRLevel3 and all of the radar data is from a few minutes past 4 AM CST today. Not a very good selling point. Can any users verify this, and let me know why this is? I assume if GR is doing some maintanence or having data feed problems that you have gotten some message indicating as such. Other radar sources are not having this problem.

GR3 gets the data straight from the NWS servers. Any work that Mike is doing (developer of GR) wouldn't affect incoming data unless the format of that data changes.
 
I had a demo version of storm lab a while back and thought it was great but the initial cost vs functionality kept me away, especially given the pro version was much more costly just to have the benefit of metars overlaid. Grlevelx and other software such as Unidata’s IDV made me never look back.

About a year ago just for the heck of it I visited the Storm Lab forums and did a search for GrlevelX vs Storm Lab. Needless to say all threads regarding such a comparison were banned and a number of claims that GrlevelX stole concepts from Storm Lab came to light. When I used Google's cached page search I discovered a number of threads which had been deleted where owners of Storm Lab basically said GrlevelX is superior within the Storm Lab forum itself. I think that pretty much explains everything!!!

So until something comes into existence which is much cheaper than Baron but has the same coverage, more data products and the high resolution radar capabilities and functionality of GrlevelX, Mike's software will continue to dominate.
Same here. I used StormLab back in 2003 and it was great. But now nothing compares to Grlevel3. Plus I like that he actually updates his software.
 
I agree Grlevelx is nice, and most of the time will be spent at the local radar level, but one reason I like Weathertap is it's quick overview of all the radar weather via regional displays. I often view and animate this as it gives an idea of what larger level dynamic interactions are going on in the system. Then it is quite easy to click and "drill down". Unless the latest versions of Grlevelx have changed there is still no macro - overview level. I user is forced to click and load station after station to see what is going on. Another nice feature Weathertap has even when in the local doppler radars is the ability to click a compass style directional gauge that will quickly take you to adjacent radars of that station. I tend to do a lot of switching between radars to see what the adjacent stations are picking up in the scans for a particular interrelated storm. If Grlevelx incorporated a system of navigation between local stations and even national, regional, sectional radar views I think it would be a greatly improved and easier to use tool. Sure I realize it has Favorites, and they are nice and it helps, but IMO still not as good as the navigation abilities of Weathertap.

This also brings up another thing about Grlevelx I'm not that crazy about, and that is animation. Basically you have to have it loaded long enough to build a loop. That may be an hour or more to get some good motion going. With Weathertap you download and play the loop back. So I think they need to improve that also. At least they should provide that as an option.

As far as the quality of the tool and resolution of the radar, and all the fun with placefiles, etc there is no doubt that Grlevelx is superior.
 
This also brings up another thing about Grlevelx I'm not that crazy about, and that is animation. Basically you have to have it loaded long enough to build a loop. That may be an hour or more to get some good motion going. With Weathertap you download and play the loop back. So I think they need to improve that also. At least they should provide that as an option.

That is an option in GRx.... Press the "Start Archiver" button between the Start Polling and Stop Polling buttons (top-left). This will make GRx fetch previous radar data, so you can loop almost immediately... Make sure you have the latest build of GR3 (though the Archiver feature has been on GR3 for a long time, since one of the first few builds):
archiver.png


Also... I agree that it would be nice if GRx had a nat'l map from which you could pick a station (rather than having to select one from a list), and I agree that a "regional" image would be nice. However, you can quickly move to an adjacent radar site by merely clicking on the radar ID on the map... In other words, you don't need to click the radar on the list -- you can just click on the location of the adjacent radar you want (assuming you have selected Show Radar Sites from the GIS menu). No need to scroll through the list as long as the radar you want is near the radar you are viewing.
 
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