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Tracking Software

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tneff

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Those that use storm tracking software, do you use a different one for severe weather than you would for a hurricane ? Currently I am using GRlevel3 and am considering something else for hurricane tracking other than a chart, any suggestions ? Thanks
 

rdale

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GRLevel3 isn't for hurricane tracking... Charts really are the best way to go, otherwise the NHC plots do a great job.
 

tuttleje

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The best web site I have found for hurricane tracking/information is Crown Weather Services

Since I live in the Tidewater Area of Virginia, I find Crown Weather Services to be very useful.

It puts a tremendous amount of information into one location. If there is a potential hurricane, it has numerous forecast models to assist in determining location/landfall.

Further, there are some very useful links at the bottom of the page...be sure to scroll all the way down.



http://www.crownweather.com/tropical.html
 
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W5TWX

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Round Rock, Tx.
The best web site I have found for hurricane tracking/information is Crown Weather Services

Since I live in the Tidewater Area of Virginia, I find Crown Weather Services to be very useful.

It puts a tremendous amount of information into one location. If there is a potential hurricane, it has numerous forecast models to assist in determining location/landfall.

Further, there are some very useful links at the bottom of the page...be sure to scroll all the way down.



http://www.crownweather.com/tropical.html

Great website! THANKS for sharing it:)
 

DaveNF2G

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I have been using StormLab, but lately I've been thinking about downloading the trial versions of GRLevel 2 and 3.

Can anyone offer some pros and cons for upgrading to StormLab Pro versus switching to GRLevel?
 

rdale

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Plenty of pro's for GRLevelX. But since they are trials, just check them out on your own and come back if you have specific questions...
 

pinetree

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Felton DE
I have found that Tracking the eye by Hurricane software suits me best. You get updates on a storm as NOAH puts them out. The plots are very accurate, and easy to update by clicking a icon.

www.hurricanesoftware.com/
 
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DaveNF2G

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Plenty of pro's for GRLevelX. But since they are trials, just check them out on your own and come back if you have specific questions...

Actually, that was a good suggestion.

OK, so I'm trying out Level 3.

I haven't found a way to plot my own position on the radar screen.

I should also mention that lately StormLab has locked up whenever I have tried to get a radar picture. The two programs are on different computers, so it's not a software conflict.
 

W9BU

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I haven't found a way to plot my own position on the radar screen.
The previous post will tell you how to make a dot at your home location. You can then use the right click menus to measure the distance of something from the dot. GRLevel3 also has provisions for hooking up a GPS receiver so you can plot your position while mobile.

There's not a lot of documentation for the program. You kinda have to poke around on the menus and see what happens. Also, check the forums on the GRLevelX web site. Once you register, you can get access to the registered users only forums. I learned a lot about the program from reading the forums. Somewhere in the forums, I found out how to import Tiger map data so I can get street-level maps under my radar images.

A couple of neat features. In the Warnings window, double click on a warning and the program will jump to the radar site nearest the warning. And, if I remember correctly, hover over a warning in the Warnings window and a pop-up will appear with the text of the warning.

I run GRLevelX in four-panel mode on a wide-screen monitor so I can see Base Reflectivity, Storm Radial Velocity, Tops, and VIL all on the screen at once.

One thing to keep in mind about these programs...There is always a lag between what you see in the radar image and what's happening in real life. You have to learn to anticipate what the next volume scan is going to show you.
 

DaveNF2G

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One point in favor of StormLab. No delay on radar. (That is, when StormLab can actually show me the radar.)

It's very difficult to place a marker with total precision. It would be nice to be able to type in the position lat/lon. (Point to StormLab.)
 
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rdale

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One point in favor of StormLab.
No points there... Both software packages have the same source. No delay on either.

It's very difficult to place a marker with total precision.
It really isn't... You move the mouse to your street, find the nearest intersection to help out, and right-click.
 

W9BU

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One point in favor of StormLab. No delay on radar.
StormLab gets their data from the National Weather Service, just like everybody else, so there is a delay. In fact, from reading the description of StormLab on their web site, it works exactly the same way as GRLevel3 in that it downloads small packets of processed radar data from the NWS and then it generates images and other products to display on your computer screen.

Quoting from the NWS web site (http://www.srh.noaa.gov/jetstream/doppler/how.htm):

The WSR-88D employs scanning strategies in which the antenna automatically raises to higher and higher preset angles, or elevation slices, as it rotates. These elevation slices comprise a volume coverage pattern or VCP. Once the radar sweeps through all elevation slices a volume scan is complete. In precipitation mode, the WSR-88D completes a volume scan every 4-6 minutes depending upon which VCP is in effect, providing an updated 3-dimensional look at the atmosphere around the radar site.
Note that it takes at least 4 minutes for the WSR-88D radar to complete a volume scan. There's no way to avoid some delay between the time the radar sees a reflected pulse, that pulse is processed along with thousands of other pulses, the volume scan is assembled, and what you ultimately see on your computer. Even the radar operators at the NWS have to deal with this delay. Only the old-fashioned single-elevation real-time weather radars have no delay. But they don't have near the processing power or the ability to analyze a storm in 3-D like the WSR-88D has.
 

blackacid

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Also if you would like to place more than just your home on the map create a txt file and name it anything. Put it in the grlevel folder C:\Program Files\GRLevelX\GRLevel3.

In this txt file you will put the locations of your places in the following format:

Place: 37.70828,-81.98914,Home

For each place you want to add to the map you just insert a new line like that and change the name/coords. So replace the 37.70828,-81.98914 with your coord and replace Home with whatever location you are wanting to mark.

Ex:
Place: 37.0000,-90.0000,New Location
Place: 37.1025,-90.2353,New Location 2

Save the text file.

In grlevel3 goto window>show place file manager.
Hit the lil open folder and select your txt file you created.
After you select your txt file and you are back at the placefile window....make sure the left checkbox has a check in it next to the txt file you just opened/created.
Close the placefile window.

Your locations should be on your map now with names.
 
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rdale

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There's no way to avoid some delay between the time the radar sees a reflected pulse, that pulse is processed along with thousands of other pulses, the volume scan is assembled, and what you ultimately see on your computer.
Not quite true... The updates come after every SLICE, not after every volume scan. So if you are sitting in front of the PC when a new 1/2 degree tilt comes in, that's real-time. You just wait 5 minutes for the next update.

Only the old-fashioned single-elevation real-time weather radars have no delay. But they don't have near the processing power or the ability to analyze a storm in 3-D like the WSR-88D has.
Those aren't old-fashioned, actually NWS radars are eventually getting a volume scheme that drops the higher elevations if there's nothing worth looking at aloft for faster low-level updates.
 

DaveNF2G

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OK, thanks for the additional feedback. I take back my comment about the delay.

And many thanks to blackacid for the posting about the locations file. That's what I meant about precision. I have the location of my station down to six decimal places and getting a precise match past about 3 places is difficult using the right-click method.
 

W9BU

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Bottom line, Dave, is that there are lots of choices out there. What works for me might not work for you and vice-versa. I used to use StormLab years ago, but it seemed to crash a lot on my computer, so I went to GRLevel3 and have never looked back.

It might be interesting to put together a features matrix to compare the two versions of StormLab to the two versions of GRLevelX to see what you get for your money. One feature of GRLevel3 that I like is the image smoothing. If you have a modern graphics card in your computer, the smoothing looks great.

Unfortunately, GRLevel3 can't seem to download NWS radar data through our firewall at work, so I have to resort to web-based radars. I've been using the College of DuPage County weather radar site (http://weather.cod.edu/analysis/analysis.radar.html) to get access to all of the various radar products.
 
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W9BU

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Those aren't old-fashioned...
By "old-fashioned" I was talking about the radars like what the Indianapolis NWS office had before they got their WSR-88D. That radar depended on the persistence of the phosphors on the radar screen to show you an image as the radar beam swept around. The radar operator could manually adjust the elevation of the beam in order to get an idea of the height of the storm cell. Grease pencils were used to mark on the screen the outlines of the storm cells. Once he had a good idea of what was going on, he'd grab a sheet of tissue paper that had the county lines printed on it. He'd lay that sheet over the radar screen and trace around his grease pencil marks. That tissue then went to the forecasters so they could figure out where warnings were needed.

We have come a long way. The high-resolution radar the NWS is about to roll out will be even better!
 
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