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The updated NWS radar is terrible


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This interface is very slow and seems to rely on third party data for the underlying base map. Given the antecedent challenges with NWS IT infrastructure their move to this product was, IMO, short sighted. I prefer the old radar because it was faster to load, easier to interpret, and still worked when you had limited data connection. 

I encourage anyone with a strong opinion, positive or negative, to email: [email protected]

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I agree, the new site is terrible! I used to use the Doppler map to plan my day. I could see fronts coming in, the updates were timely, the colors told me about rain, snow, potential freezing conditions, etc. I did send a note to [email protected] I hope they open their emails. I have no idea why they thought this new site was an improvement.

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Loads slower than wundermap 15 years ago.

I can't tell if tell if I'm looking at base or a composite.

COD remade their old site without using flash pretty easily.

That's what nws should have done.  Add dual pole products and increase the resolution also.   Most of all, make sure it loads fast.

 

 

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On 12/20/2020 at 12:53 PM, Eskimo Joe said:

This interface is very slow and seems to rely on third party data for the underlying base map. Given the antecedent challenges with NWS IT infrastructure their move to this product was, IMO, short sighted. I prefer the old radar because it was faster to load, easier to interpret, and still worked when you had limited data connection. 

I encourage anyone with a strong opinion, positive or negative, to email: [email protected]

I'll try to keep the bad words out when I send my opinion, but that is about only way to describe the crap they delivered to the public.....

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Color maps and user interface aside, the biggest single issue is that the tiling service is slow af.  And the thing about it is for single radar stuff, there is almost no reason you need to have a tiling service these days.  Modern browsers, normal connection speeds ( even on mobile), do just fine handling the full images overlaid on a map.   The single quickest way to get the popcorn gallery to simmer down at least a little bit would be to toss that and just generate the full radar images.

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I posted this in the New England thread, but let me show an example of what I'm talking about above...

https://emmy7.casa.umass.edu/umaxx/nexrad.html

This is just BOX and ENX data and granted I am not generating large composites or all the dual pol products, but from a pure browser speed perspective, note the difference between generating/overlaying full PPIs vs tiling on the weather service page.  You don't have to have 'map move' event listeners, nor handle tons of tiling queries.

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4 hours ago, KPITSnow said:

How on earth is it still completely broken?

They need to increase their bandwidth, which needs to be budgeted for. I don't know if it was put in for FY2021 or not, but hopefully it was so they can get it off their hosted servers out to AWS or MS cloud.

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 12/23/2020 at 6:24 PM, DeltaPilot said:

The last real "free" place with a semi decent Radar picture turned into CRAP! Sending a strongly worded email asap.

https://weather.cod.edu/satrad/nexrad/index.php

^^ For this one you do need to mouse over the topmost icon on the left that is overlaying the map, and click Radar Selection to choose from all of the locations!

https://weather.cod.edu/satrad/?parms=continental-conus-comp_radar-48-0-100-1&checked=map&colorbar=data

College of Dupage's sites thankfully are quite awesome, very configurable too, and very easy to download both animating loops and single images!!

And, available through the second link are the options to show only every x number of frames which can allow a longer time period to view, here is an example! 

https://weather.cod.edu/satrad/?parms=continental-conus-comp_radar-200-1-100-4&checked=map&colorbar=undefined

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 12/24/2020 at 11:39 AM, Great Snow 1717 said:

Thanks for this post, and link to the WAPO article--guess I haven't been imagining this, then!  The tiled radar layer is just painful to watch load.

The radar.weather.gov server may not be the issue since it loads the ArcGIS base maps fairly quickly.  But the radar layer is served up by the open data server at NOAA--so this is probably the bottleneck.  

Regardless, the deprecation of Flash has been pretty obvious for years. There was more than enough time to budget for and develop a suitable replacement.

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  • 1 month later...

Having had a brush with an F4 in the the third grade, I've spent the last 40 plus years as an "amateur meteorologist" for family and friends with regard to extreme weather events.

It's been amazing over the years having a weather radar that demonstrated vibrant greens and reds reflecting rotation and precipitation, in addition to geometric shapes that reflected different types of active warnings.  Overlaid on a map with interstates, rivers, and highways, I could comfortably sit in my home while feeding a baby in a high chair as a major tornado moved 10 or 15 miles to the south.

The flash issue aside, I strongly suspect this new radar was designed by somebody who enjoys checking the weather on a screen that is just a few inches in width and diameter. In my opinion, that should be a last resort when out and about or after the power goes out.

Unless they can provide explicit instructions on how to make the new product more like the flash product, people are going to die. I would welcome a tutorial that made that happen, and I don't mean the nonsense contained under FAQ.

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16 hours ago, David T said:

Having had a brush with an F4 in the the third grade, I've spent the last 40 plus years as an "amateur meteorologist" for family and friends with regard to extreme weather events.

It's been amazing over the years having a weather radar that demonstrated vibrant greens and reds reflecting rotation and precipitation, in addition to geometric shapes that reflected different types of active warnings.  Overlaid on a map with interstates, rivers, and highways, I could comfortably sit in my home while feeding a baby in a high chair as a major tornado moved 10 or 15 miles to the south.

The flash issue aside, I strongly suspect this new radar was designed by somebody who enjoys checking the weather on a screen that is just a few inches in width and diameter. In my opinion, that should be a last resort when out and about or after the power goes out.

Unless they can provide explicit instructions on how to make the new product more like the flash product, people are going to die. I would welcome a tutorial that made that happen, and I don't mean the nonsense contained under FAQ.

Agree fully, a useful product has been eliminated for no good reason.

Does no one at the NWS care?

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I honestly just want someone to tell me how to make the new product load promptly and efficiently on a fully modern and updated computer system with reliable high speed internet access, in a way that closely resembles the same darn thing I can see on my local TV radar. That's what I enjoyed for decades with the flash version.

I almost took a screen shot of the local weather radar on TV tonight to show the difference, but normal human beings know exactly what I'm talking about.

As I speak, a severe thunderstorm is rolling up our state's tornado ally, within 30 miles of my home, and honest to god, my storm dog and my local NWS forecast discussion are providing far more information than the new radar.

Aside from the contrast, i suspect that there is some sort of user interest overload going on, which means the radar seems to function poorly when lots of people try to access it.

Please, if I am doing it wrong, just tell me.

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  • 2 weeks later...

It's awful - multiple hazards in effect yesterday and today (tornado warning, severe thunderstorms) and the new NWS RADAR is not up to the task of presenting the dangers. It is far to slow to load and the RADAR returns are ill-defined. The only nice feature is the basemap. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

 

 

So here we are, the new vs. the old. Just withing the last hour.  The "old" is the radar thumbnail for the local NWS office in Little Rock. The "new" is what I see after my dog suddenly begins to behave strangely before any indication of a weather event.

What I'm trying to understand are the limits of my weather education that make this a problem for me. My dog is actually a better predictor of approaching thunderstorms, with high winds and hail, than the new radar.

I think this could be a a matter of aesthetics and communications medium, but it is far more than "old people are resistant to change."

After all, younger people with zero frame of reference lack the data to make such a statement. It's quite possible that the contrast between the two displays of radar results are highly informative for some, but highly misleading to others.  Help me fix my ignorance.

 

51146126713_dd56018cd8_b.jpg

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  • 3 weeks later...

I have seen many good weather sites bite the dust over the past 20 years or so, it is really sad. It is even sadder to see that NWS and NOAA have bowed to that pressure as well. There are many companies out there that make billions of dollars a year on weather forecasts, even though all of the data everyone uses is freely available from NOAA. These companies will do anything to milk that golden cow as long as they possibly can, and that has directly led to the closing of many great weather websites, most notably Intelicast. IBM was directly responsible for that one! I would bet money that you can follow all the trail of bread crumbs back to lobbyist money in Washing D.C. That same weather map is used by Google and many web sites to generate their radar maps. It is complete crap!

After many years of searching after the demise of Intellicast, the best radar maps that I have been able to find are available on https://eldoradoweather.com.

These maps are not perfect, but they are much better than that Google crap! I find the Dark maps the most effective for me, but the storm tracker maps seem to be the most accurate.

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