Saturday, February 19, 2005

Jamulian Weather Radar

A few weeks ago I discovered that the National Weather Service (which has radars all over the U.S.) puts all of its radar data up on the Internet. The data is at most a few minutes old. There happens to be a NWS radar in Poway, which is less than 20 miles from where I live. So...if I could figure out how to read the radar data, I could have my very own radar -- with the convenience of someone else paying for its purchase and upkeep. What a deal!

So I spent a few weekends writing software to grab the data continuously, decode it, and then turn it into something pleasing to view. A reduced snapshot of the result is at right, but you can see the real deal by going to Tom's Weather Radar.

Note: you must have Java installed on your system (you can get it free at the Java site, and my web site is slow so it will take a minute or two for all the frames of the "weather movie" to download. But be patient -- it's worth it!

If you're interested in doing the same thing yourself, you can find out how to do it at the NWS Radar Product Central Collection Dissemination site.

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