Radar Variables

The radar datatype features a comprehensive set of radar related variables utilizing the National Weather Service of the United States and Environmental Canada Doppler Radar data and an arsenal of severe storm information based on complex algorithms developed using a combination of Weather Central and National Severe Storms Laboratory technology.

Radar Variables

Reflectivity with Winter Mask Level 2 Reflectivity with Winter Mask Rainvision Shearvision
Precip Type Level 2 Reflectivity Snowvision  
Reflectivity Hailvision Icevision  

Reflectivity With Winter Mask

API Query: datatype=radar&var=reflectivity_w_wintermask

This product, commonly referred to as “radar” is a measurement of rain intensity as measured by over 100 radars in the continental United States and Canada.  Because the government radars are raw in nature Weather Central provides further value to these products by using proprietary algorithms to mask out false returns and adding colors to represent rain, snow, and mixed precipitation.  Greens, yellow, and reds represent rain, blues represent snow, and pinks represent mixed precipitation.  Additionally Weather Central’s meteorologists monitor the product 24/7/365 to ensure that the product is accurate.  This product is natively 1km resolution per grid point, smoothed down to street level and outputs on a six minute interval.  This variable is only available as a tile request.

Weather Central Data Processing Center

Tile Data Example

PrecipType

API Query: datatype=radar&var=preciptype

This product returns the specific type of precipitation that is falling for the time you are requesting (Rain, Snow, or Mixed Precipitation) based on Weather Central’s proprietary winter masking technology.  This is useful for when you are trying to gather the rainfall type using a point request. 


PrecipType Value

Precipitation Type

0

No Precip

1

Rain

2

Mixed Precipitation

5

Snow

3 and 4

Reserved for Later Use

Point Data Example

Tile Data Example

Reflectivity

API Query: datatype=radar&var=reflectivity

This is the same product as Reflectivity with the Winter Mask, but without the winter mask.  This product allows point requests so it can be utilized to obtain an exact value for the intensity of the rainfall at a given point.  This products units are in dbz (or decibels), which is a measure of the intensity of rainfall the radar detects.

DBZ

Precipitation Intensity

0-10

No Precipitation or Drizzle

10-25

Light Precipitation

25-40

Moderate Precipitation

40+

Heavy Precipitation

Point Data Example

Tile Data Example

Level 2 Reflectivity With Winter Mask

API Query: datatype=radar&var=L2reflectivity_w_wintermask

The level 2 radar feed is similar to the standard reflectivity, but is a premium product.  The Level 2 radar feed has 256 colors versus the 16 colors in the standard reflectivity product, and is delivered with less latency than the standard radar product (1-5 minutes old versus 5-10 minutes old).  The level 2 radar feed is taken through the same quality control and monitoring as the standard radar feed.   This product is available via tile request only.

Tile Data Example

 

Level 2 Reflectivity

API Query: datatype=radar&var=L2reflectivity

This is the Premium Radar Product without any color difference for the precipitation type in the tile response.  This product allows point requests so it can be utilized to obtain an exact value for the intensity of the rainfall at a given point.  This products units are in dbz (or decibels), which is a measure of the intensity of rainfall the radar detects.

DBZ

Precipitation Intensity

Less than 10

No Precipitation or Drizzle

10-25

Light Precipitation

25-40

Moderate Precipitation

40+

Heavy Precipitation

Point Data Example

Tile Data Example

Hailvision™

API Query: datatype=radar&var=HailVision30Min

API Query: datatype=radar&var=HailVision1Hour

API Query: datatype=radar&var=HailVision2Hour

API Query: datatype=radar&var=HailVision6Hour

The HailVision™ Product is a gridded dataset that estimates the size of the hail that has fallen on a particular lat/lon point over a given historical interval.  This is derived using radar post processing algorithms developed out of the National Severe Storms Laboratory.  This product is useful in historic analysis of weather events to determine which part of a neighborhood received the largest hail stones for businesses that have a vested interest in hail damage (rental car companies, home repair, insurance, etc). 
The HailVision™ product is split into 4 unique variables which represent the time interval that the maximum estimated hail stone was measured over.  These are 30 minutes, 1 hour, 2 hours, and 6 hours.  This is the time interval proceeding the time in your request.  So if you request the HailVision2Hour product for 3:00AM, you would get the maximum hail size that occurred between 1:00AM and 3:00AM.  The 30 minute and 1 hour products are created every 5 minutes while the 2 hour and 6 hour products are created every 30 minutes.

Point Data Example

Tile Data Example

Rainvision™

API Query: datatype=radar&var=RainVision1Hour

API Query: datatype=radar&var=RainVision3Hour

API Query: datatype=radar&var=RainVision6Hour

API Query: datatype=radar&var=RainVision12Hour

API Query: datatype=radar&var=RainVision24Hour

The RainVision™ Product is a gridded dataset that estimates how much rain has fallen on a particular lat/lon point over a given historical interval.  This is derived using radar post processing algorithms developed out of the National Severe Storms Laboratory. 
The RainVision™ product is split into 5 unique variables which represent the time interval that rainfall total is measured.  These are 1 hour, 3 hours, 6 hours, 12 hours and 24 hours.  This is the time interval proceeding the time in your request.  So if you request the RainVision3Hour product for 3:00AM, you would get the estimated rainfall that occurred between 12:00AM and 3:00AM.  The 1 hour product is created every 5 minutes while the 3 hour, 6 hour, 12 hour, and 24 hour products are created every hour
.

Point Data Example

Tile Data Example

Snowvision™

API Query: datatype=radar&var=SnowVision1Hour

API Query: datatype=radar&var=SnowVision3Hour

API Query: datatype=radar&var=SnowVision6Hour

API Query: datatype=radar&var=SnowVision12Hour

API Query: datatype=radar&var=SnowVision24Hour

The SnowVision™ Product is a gridded dataset that estimates how much snow has fallen on a particular lat/lon point over a given historical interval.  This is derived using radar post processing algorithms developed out of the National Severe Storms Laboratory. 
The SnowVision™ product is split into 5 unique variables which represent the time interval that the snowfall total is estimated over.  These are 1 hour, 3 hours, 6 hours, 12 hours and 24 hours.  This is the time interval proceeding the time in your request.  So if you request the SnowVision3Hour product for 3:00AM, you would get the estimated snowfall that occurred between 12:00AM and 3:00AM.  The 1 hour product is created every 5 minutes while the 3 hour, 6 hour, 12 hour, and 24 hour products are created every hour.

Point Data Example

Tile Data Example

IceVision™

API Query: datatype=radar&var=IceVision1Hour

API Query: datatype=radar&var=IceVision3Hour

API Query: datatype=radar&var=IceVision6Hour

API Query: datatype=radar&var=IceVision12Hour

API Query: datatype=radar&var=IceVision24Hour

The IceVision™ Product is a gridded dataset that estimates how much ice has fallen on a particular lat/lon point over a given historical interval.  This is derived using radar post processing algorithms developed out of the National Severe Storms Laboratory. 
The IceVision™ product is split into 5 unique variables which represent the time interval that the ice accumulation total is estimated over.  These are 1 hour, 3 hours, 6 hours, 12 hours and 24 hours.  This is the time interval proceeding the time in your request.  So if you request the IceVision3Hour product for 3:00AM, you would get the estimated ice accumulation that occurred between 12:00AM and 3:00AM.  The 1 hour product is created every 5 minutes while the 3 hour, 6 hour, 12 hour, and 24 hour products are created every hour.

Point Data Example

Tile Data Example

ShearVision™

API Query: datatype=radar&var=ShearVisionCurrent
API Query: datatype=radar&var=ShearVision1Hour

The ShearVision™ Product is a gridded dataset that estimates the strength of low level rotation for particular lat/lon point over a given historical interval or at the present moment.  This is derived using radar post processing algorithms developed out of the National Severe Storms Laboratory.  This product is useful for determining where damage has occurred, whether a storm is strengthening or weakening, and what the path of the storm looks like on a map
The ShearVision™ product is split into 2 unique variables: The current location of the rotation, and the last hour history of the rotation.  Weak rotation that could cause a tornado occurs at around .006, moderate rotation with even more likelihood of a tornado occurs at .009, and strong rotation with a great likelihood of a tornado occurs at values above .012.

Point Data Example

 

Tile Data Example