Troubleshooting - Radar

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The radar display does not appear or animate properly

Have you recently installed any programs such as Norton AntiVirus (see instructions for Norton below), Ad Aware, Zone Alarm Pro or similar software? These programs will sometimes have a block on animation, including our animated radar images, as it cannot differentiate them from ads. If you have more than one of these programs installed, try turning them off one by one and re-testing the radar to identify which program may be causing a conflict. You can also check the settings to lift any restrictions on animated gifs and then try again.

If you're using Internet Explorer, you should check that it's set to allow animated gifs. Go to the "Tools" menu and select the "Internet Options" menu item and click the "Advanced" tab in the window that appears. Make sure the item "Play animations in web pages" under the "Multimedia" heading is checked (enabled).

Ground clutter (looks like activity on radar)

Radar isn't a perfect system for showing where rain is falling. Very often, the radar shows "stuff" in the air, or obsticles above the ground that aren't rain.

For example, birds and bugs can show up on radar, especially in the evening. This is because in the evening, as the atmosphere near the ground cools, the denisity of the air near the ground begins to increase. Having different density air at different heights causes the atmosphere to act like a lense. Since radar beams are just like light, they bend, and toward the ground in the evening, exposing the beam to much more of the dust, birds, and bugs near the ground. This results in false echoes. Think of a mirage, it's the same effect.

On the radar maps, we have a feature to remove "ground clutter". But, it also tends to remove some of the real precipitation. The best solution is learn to identify the false echoes through experience.

Storm Tracker

The storm tracker only appears when the radar detects what it thinks is a thunderstorm cell. If you have a large area of plain old rain, it won't detect individual cells.

Radar archives

Currently, Weather Underground does not have radar images archived. The National Climatic Data Center offers free U.S. mosaics for the past 5 years. For a fee, they can retrieve any radar image.

They also archive the raw data (not images), at: http://hurricane.ncdc.noaa.gov/pls/plhas/has.dsselect

Plymouth State College offers single-site radar images of all radar products going back 7 days.

The Texas Mesonet has the past 30 days of raw data.

Local radar down

The radar imagery on our site is operated by National Weather Service. When a station is down, we have no control over it. The stations send messages to us to keep us updated on the situation, and we in turn post these messages on the radar page. The best way to stay informed of the status of your local radar is to check this message daily or to contact your local NWS office directly.

Norton Anti-Virus

If you have Norton software and are having trouble viewing our radar images, try this fix:

  1. Open Norton Personal Firewall. On the resulting panel, click the "Norton Personal Firewall" button.
  2. On the resulting drop-down menu, select "Status & Settings" if it is not automatically selected for you.
  3. On the list which appears in the middle, click on "Ad Blocking".
  4. In the box on the right, click on the "Configure" button.
  5. An "Ad Blocking" panel opens. Note the two check boxes at the top, "Turn on Ad Blocking" and "Turn on Popup Window Blocking". The default option is that both of these boxes are checked. This is OK. Click the "Advanced" button next to the legend "Configure Ad Blocking for individual Web sites".
  6. The "Advanced" panel opens. Scan down the alphabetized list on the left; if www.wunderground.com isn't in the list, click the "Add Site" button at the bottom of the panel and use step 7. If it is listed, skip to step 8.
  7. The "New Site/Domain" panel opens. Write "www.wunderground.com" (without the quotes) in the text box and click "OK".
  8. Back in the "Advanced" panel, click on www.wunderground.com in the list of websites.
  9. Click on the "Ad Blocking" tab. It is not necessary to modify the default options under the "Global Settings" and "User Settings" tabs.
  10. Click the "Add..." button at the bottom of the page.
  11. In the "Add new HTML string" text box which opens, type in "http://www.wunderground" (without the quotes), and select "Permit".
  12. To implement the solution, click the "OK" button on the "Add new HTML string" text box. The Nexrad index should work at this point. To close out of Norton Personal Firewall, click the "OK" buttons on the "Advanced" panel and the "Ad Blocking" panel, and close the Norton Personal Firewall panel.

Norton Internet Security 2006:

  1. Open Norton Internet Security. On the resulting panel, click the "Privacy Control" button.
  2. Click on "Configure".
  3. Three boxes appear on the bottom of the dialogue box, click "Advanced".
  4. The "Advanced" panel opens. Scan down the alphabetized list on the left; if www.wunderground.com isn't in the list, click the "Add Site" button at the bottom of the panel and use step 7. If it is listed, skip to step 8.
  5. The "New Site/Domain" panel opens. Write "www.wunderground.com" (without the quotes) in the text box and click "OK".
  6. Back in the "Advanced" panel, click on www.wunderground.com in the list of websites.
  7. Click on the "Ad Blocking" tab. It is not necessary to modify the default options under the "Global Settings" and "User Settings" tabs.
  8. Click the "Add..." button at the bottom of the page.
  9. In the "Add new HTML string" text box which opens, type in "www.wunderground.com" (without the quotes), and select "Permit".
  10. To implement the solution, click the "OK" button on the "Add new HTML string" text box. The Nexrad index should work at this point. To close out of Norton Personal Firewall, click the "OK" buttons on the "Advanced" panel and the "Ad Blocking" panel, and close the Norton Personal Firewall panel.

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