Online Tools - Radar & Models
The following online websites offer live and archived radar and models. Some are paid sites. All offer a generous array of features that can be used without a steep learning curve. Even so, some features may take some exploration to find. Some of them are more demanding on system resources than others. Considering these variables, the user may need to evaluate cost, performance, and features before deciding which will be their go-to favorite. Suggested additions are welcome.
One of the first tools used broadly among members when LSSN formed was weatherTAP (lowercase "w"). This site offers a very rich set of tools including several types of radar, each with overlays, forecasts, several weather models, satellite, numerous lighting maps, aviation tools, and global weather maps. Fee-based at about $8/month which includes access to their phone apps.
One of several weatherTAP radar displays
Originally a free-access online project, SimuAWIPS is now owned by WeatherBELL Analytics, a subscription-based commercial (expensive) weather service. This site offers a multi-pane display of observations, live radar, and models all from the same screen, permitting stacks of overlays that can quickly get out of control. It definitely has learning curve but there is little this tool cannot do. Fee-based at about $9/month.
This free website is loaded with many radar and mapping capabilities as well as preset templates like radar, hurricane, satellite, etc. It is used for our onsite radar and overlays. The user can create a free account and reference it any time. An embedded version of the Windy tools is found on this website under the Current tab.
Sample of Windy templates
This free website, with a paid option, is a great resource for computer models. Its best uses are viewing the NAM 3km, HRRR, and HRW WRF-NSSL models. A static image or looped timeline can be selected. The link above is preset to the view of Texas with the NAM 3km loop.
F5weather is a paid site with countless models and tools for forecasting and analysis. It is the only one (so far) with ECMWF European model radar projections. It also has most of the models provided by Pivotal. Another component provided, for an additional fee, is Tornado Target. This tool can help pinpoint locations in the US with the highest tornado risks plotted on a smaller but similar map.