The RainmanWeather 3D Weather Radar is an exclusive feature found only on this site. The application was developed in-house at RainmanWeather and is freely available for all registered users.
RainmanWeather 3D Weather Radar provides a 3D view of weather events within select NWS radar coverage areas. The 3D Weather Radar shows cloud height, and by using the color scale also shows cloud density. Level II super high resolution data is used in the displays and is much more detailed than the commonly used level III radar data. Blue Marble Next Generation basemap imagery (courtesy of NASA) is used as a backdrop.
RainmanWeather 3D Weather Radar provides 2D, 3D, and isosurface radar loops. The 2D radar provides a base reflectivity return which is taken at a radar tilt angle of 0.5 degree elevation. This is what many typical radars display, although we incorporate the much higher resolution Level II data. By providing a reflectivity scan from the base elevation, and displaying it at the actual elevation above the horizon, the 3D Radar is not locked to the ground like 2D radar. The isosurface scan provides a display of both volume and density in a three dimensional view of storm structure. Due to the tilt angle of the radar scan and altitude, isosurface and 3D views may appear to be displaced from the base map. This displacement may be further enhanced depending on the distance of storms from the radar station. Using the standard 2D radar along with the isosurface and 3D radars, perspective of storm location can be maintained in relation to the ground.
Diagram of a typical 3D-Radar, a judicial mix of vertical electronic beam steering and mechanically horizontal movement of a pencil-beam. Credit: 3D radar - Wikipedia
The 3D Weather Radar images show the thickest clouds from the 0.5 degree elevation up to 19.5 degrees elevation. By selecting the desired checkboxes, the isosurface view displays returns that are above the 30db and 45db levels respectively, as well as a height range of 2000 to 16000 meters. The peaks on the isosurface display show the taller clouds at the selected return values. The 30db display coincides with moderate reflectivity or rain; the 65db display reflects very heavy rain or hail. The colors reflect this density range while the shape reflects storm structure and cloud height.
The "Floater" views are focused on current weather and can include any coastal radar station between Brownsville, TX to Wakefield, VA. Jacksonville, FL is static and will always be displayed in the current views.
The Radar data is provided in near real time, the latest images are usually not more then 15 minutes old and are often less then 10 minutes old.
Additional Radar Resources:
NWS JetStream - Introduction to Doppler Radar
NCDC: Radar Resources
NEXRAD Radar Operations Center, WSR-88D
Federal Meteorological Handbook NO. 11 Doppler Radar
NWS Level II Radar Receive Status
Weather Radar - Wikipedia
NEXRAD - Wikipedia
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