How Do You View a Live Local Doppler Radar?


Quick Answer

To view a live local Doppler radar map, go to the National Weather Service enhanced radar image website at Radar.weather.gov, and click on the radar site nearest you. Click on the map to create a more precisely targeted selected location. Menu items on the left display information such as the velocity of a storm or rainfall projections relative to the selected location. The map displays information in colors with a corresponding legend in the lower right corner.

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Full Answer

The National Weather Service allows users to layer elements on the display, such as cities, counties, highways, rivers and topography, by checking boxes below the map. The map also displays tornado, severe thunderstorm, flash flood and special marine warnings.

Doppler radar bounces a microwave signal off an object and determines how the object's motion has changed the frequency of the returning signal. Calculations take into account the Doppler effect, which is where the radar gets its name. In addition to meteorology, Doppler radar is used in aviation, satellites, radar speed guns and surface-to-air missiles, as well as in health care applications such as radiology, fall detection and risk assessment. Doppler radar is only one part of the processing of meteorological map data, but many weather services use the name as a shorthand term.

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