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Best sites for weather (other than WX Disco)

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Posted (edited)

@PlanetMaster asked for some reviews of weather sites to help build this out more.  I figured we could add a topic of the all in one weather sites that we have subscribed to or use regularly.   I'll start with my comments on Accupro, which I've paid for since it came out.  I find its worth it for the info, especially during hurricane and winter seasons.  Here are the features and what I think should be improved.  Warning, its going to sound like an ad.  If they still have a free trial, I highly recommend it.  

14.95/mo. Ad Free

Custom to my zip code

Old page lays out current conditions, satellite, state and local radars

Next down is the 15 day forecast

To the right are some features I use like the state visible sat, state obs map

Also included but not used often are model info, weather alarm, top news

I like the old layout over the new

On the left side of the old layout are all the other features

Old page vs. New Page


New Page I still can't find things on




Things I use: 

Experts:  Paul and Elliot, though Elliot doesn’t update often

Current obs, Current condition maps (includes a map of airport codes)

Fancy version -can drill down to regional and state level.  Map types available are listed at the bottom.


Basic graphical version with more parameters

780000554_surfaceobchoices.thumb.png.198d27459900fd780e9a82c96796e182.png image.png.1bd8da084e3e6e49ef5d3bd00571fa24.png


And I use it to plug airport codes into text ouput - these are the airport codes for OH



Climo data (use this a lot and I can’t find anything better out there) Search by Airport code.


Computer models  

The Animator has the following models available:

  • Accumodel,
  • AccuWx Multi-model ensemble
  • CFS
  • CMC (to hr 144)
  • ECMWF (all four runs)
  • EPS control to hr 360
  • EPS Ensembles
  • ECMWF monthly
  • ECMWF Seasonal
  • ECMWF EFI (new one to me)
  • FV3 (only works sometimes and only to hr 120)
  • GFS (to hr 360)
  • GFS Ensembles
  • HazWRF
  • HMON
  • HREF
  • HRRR
  • HWRF
  • JMA (to hr 192; 12z only)
  • NAM
  • NAM 3k
  • NAM Snow squall Parameter
  • NAVGEM (out to hr 180)
  • NBM (not sure what this is yet)
  • NDFD (NWS Forecast DB, 2x daily)
  • NDGD (National Digital Guidance Db, 2x daily)
  • NHC Wind probability
  • RAP
  • SREF
  • UKMET (hrs 72-144 by 24 hrs; basic 500mb/slp)
  • Wavewatch

Features of the Animator include:

  • Multi loops for easy comparison
  • Multi panels for easy comparison
  • Easily customized time frames, some hourly
  • White or black backgrounds
  • Geographical regions down to state level
  • Ability to overlay and draw on map
  • Ability to set custom values for ensemble loops
  • Skew-T’s and Meteograms
  • Actual values on some maps.

Example of multiple panels (you can change sizes)



Mapping data for most models (using JMA as an example) include:

  • MSLP, 1000-500 thickness, winds
  • 500mb heights, vorticity, winds
  • 500mb and mslp
  • 850 dew point depression
  • Precip by 6hrs and total precip to forecast hr
  • 2m temps (f and c)
  • 10M Winds (vectors, barbs, streamlines)
  • 10m winds and mslp
  • Precip: QPF in 6, 12, 24, 36, 48, 60, 72, 96, 120 and to forecast hr (mm and inches), Conditional snow/rain/sleet/zr +850 temps
  • Temp at 2m, 850, 700, 500, 300, 250, 200, 100, 70, 50, 30, 20, 10mb
  • Heights at  850, 700, 500, 300, 250, 200, 100, 70, 50, 30, 20, 10mb
  • Winds at 850, 700, 500, 300, 250, 200, 100, 70, 50, 30, 20, 10mb

Euro, GFS, NAM have much much more to offer in data, including anomalies, trends, soil temps at level.  Things I use the most are:

  • 925/850/700/500mb layer info (RH, Temp, Winds, Vorticity, Vertical Velocity)
  • Snow maps (10:1, Cobb, Kuchera, snow depth, melting, 6hr, 24hr, total)
  • Freezing levels, frozen precip (qpf)
  • For tropical, steering currents, wind shear
  • For severe: CAPE (surface, mixed, most unstable), Convective inhibition, Lifted Index, Low level jet, Lapse rates (various levels), supercell composite parameter, wind shear (various levels)
  • Text output comes in faster and I post that regularly.  Its available for the GFS, NAM and Euro.  Different parameters are available, but typically use one format. 
  • Stuff I don’t know how to use yet: energy Helicity Index, Showalter Index, Thompson index, Cross Totals index, K Index, Total Totals Index, Vertical Totals Index, Sweat Index, CIN, Corfidi Upwind Propagation, Surface equivalent potential temperature

Here's a screen shot of the "Popular" parameters available


Improvements that can be made to models:

  • Add capability to gif a run ( I download each map and use a gif maker)
  • Add capability to organize favorite parameters into one section
  • Increase data on UKMET
  • Precip type on mslp/1000-500mb/qpf map
  • Make it capable of measuring distances, like TT does
  • Rapid update is available, but still lags sites like Pivotal, Tropical Tidbits, Instantweather and Weather.US
  • Archive a few days of the runs for the 4x/day or less models.  
  • Archive a few days of the text output (currently NAM is current, Euro is 0z and 12z (last 24hrs), GFS is 0z,6z,12z 18z (last 24hrs)) so you can go back and compare rather than having to save the text output.  
  • Hover over to get value (like Pivotal)

Accupro has the following types of radar:

  • National
  • Regional
  • Canadian
  • State
  • Metro
  • Local (includes storm parameters, timers)
  • Interactive mapspace which I use the most
  • Radar Pro which I like less than Mapspace but is still fun and useful
  • Predictive radar, which I rarely use
  • Lightning maps, which I tend to use lightningmaps.org more as they are seconds behind a lightning strike

Tropical season features:

  • All major models
  • Storm tracks plotted by model
  • NHC tracks
  • ATCF tracks
  • Extratropical storm tracks (GFS, Multimodel, NAM)
  • Updated news from around the world
  • Various level satellites but these can be improved upon, TT is better
  • Storm names and history
  • Historical storm tracks by year and basin
  • NHC wind probabilities
  • SLOSH modling
  • SST Analysis
  • Buoy Data plotted
  • Tie into NHC and GOES websites

Stuff I don’t use that is also included:

  • Business planner
  • 90 day forecast
  • Hourly forecast
  • Ski Planner
  • Aviation weather
  • Agriculture maps, drought status
  • Transportation forecasts
  • Emergency Managers products
  • Long range outlooks ( I let RobB post those)
  • Allergies and UV Index
  • DIFAX Maps
  • Weather Maps
  • NWS Text database (use the NWS site instead)
  • Topical expert videos (do watch Paul once in a while)
  • 3 day city outlook
  • Accupop
  • Model cross sections – these were cool at first, but I haven’t used in years
  • Astronomy (once in a while I look at this, off season – they should add space weather)

Stuff I’d add or improve, other than already mentioned in the model section

  • Customize the home page – I don’t need all this stuff and its hiding what I really want to use
  • Better satellite, it really lacks what’s available on the internet for free
  • Make the animated radars and satellites able to be saved or giffed.  I can do it on my phone, but not on the computer due to various layers.  WeatherUnderground does this well. 
Edited by StretchCT
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Great idea and also post sites that have the most impressive weather data formats for instance a member mentioned Levi's controls for ease of use. Also would like to add some GOES animations so which sites have the best layout and options that you use, etc. Just taking a look at these sites and their source code will give me ideas and pointers on how to access and design such applications. Like I said I need all the help I can get from you guys cause there are so many sites and data streams of all kinds that I could never visit them all. So pointing out the best stuff will give me lots to work with. And just to make members aware I am only one person, even with a team of devs this is not an easy task. I would never be able to do it all in one shot, it will be more like adding new features regularly as I create them and build it up over time. So pointing out the best of the best will get me off to a good start.

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Posted (edited)

@PlanetMaster Hi! Im so excited about the new upgraded site. Deffo gonna be a Patron member. I'll sign up later today to help.

I thought it might be helpful to include the Lightnings Maps! I always use this map in the Spring/Summer, when storms are on their way to see the heaviest concentrations of lightning or if Im just gonna get rained out 😕.  Its also handy to have if out poolside or in the yard, to know where the lightning is and how far away. It might be super-geeky, but its FREE and pretty cool! You can find it at www.lightningmaps.org and I find it WAAAYYYY more accurate than the lightning strikes that are supposed to show up on Wundermaps/TWC.  Its super detailed and even does Satellite maps where you can zoom all the way into your town and street.


Just a thought!

Edited by Crimson-Sprite
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