Have no fear! You don't need to be a meteorologist to enjoy Radar Alive!.
Here we describe the weather radar in what we hope is user friendly (if not meteorologically perfect) terms.
If you just want to see nearby storms, here's how to do it...
The display will then show the radar image from the radar site you selected, which is the closest to your location.
Now, What kind of Image do I want
Radar Alive! remembers the last image ("product") you viewed, and that might not be best.
To see storms in your area, one of the best images is "Composite Reflectivity"
This shows, for each point, how thick the cloud or rain is from near the surface to the top of the atmosphere, although it also may show unwanted ground clutter (see below).
If you want to know what kind of precipitation is happening, use "Hydrometeor Classification .5 162." This will have a different color for different kinds of objects in the air.
Another useful display is "Base Reflectivity Tilt .5"
This shows the amount of cloud or rain near the ground.
Radar Alive! has a wide variety of products it can display.
First, you need to open the product menu
The colors mean different things depending on which radar "Product" you select:
There are two ways to find out what each color means.
There is a color "palette" (or color bar) at the bottom of the display. If you touch that bar, it will tell you the meaning of the color where you touch.
To see what all the colors mean, bring up the "Quick Menu" using either a long press on the screen, or from the menu. Select "Color Bar Guide" to see the color descriptions.
The Radar scans its surroundings several times every 5 minutes or so. Each scan looks at a different angle above the horizon. Radar Alive! lets you choose the individual scans by how the radar was tilted, and what sort of information it gathered.
The products are divided into categories. Within the category, the product type, tilt angle (if it applies) and range in nautical miles (if relevant) are shown.
The products fall into the following categories:
Sometimes the radar shows images that are not correct or just don't make sense. These are called "artifacts" and can be difficult to interpret. They are not usually caused by malfunctions of the radar, but by the environment.