View Full Version : Ride between the raindrops: Precipitation forecast animation from UW

Scott Kocher
11-04-2010, 07:45 AM
A friend recently pointed me to this fantastic outing planning tool: it's a 3-day precipitation forecast animation map for OR and WA from the weather scientists at the University of Washington:


All else equal I prefer to ride when it's not raining, and this tool has been a remarkable help. The UW weather site has lots of other content. For cyclists this one far outshines "regular" forecasts.


11-04-2010, 05:19 PM
Quite cool. It could stand a more explicative interface, and a more logical color scale, but one gets the general idea.

thanks for sharing, Scott!

10-13-2012, 07:33 PM
Just wanted to bump this up. Also, any opinions on the most accurate precipitation forecasts among online weather sites? For the most recent rain we had, weather.gov was the only one that had the timing spot on. All the others were hours off.

10-14-2012, 07:44 PM
Considering that all the that the local weather hacks do is reference the deep wonky data sets provided by NOAA I feel that there is a better chance of accuracy from the source; anything that a local astrologer meteorologist adds is as accurate as random chance or an ouija board.

All that said: unless you are committed, and possibly commitable, to teaching yourself all the terminology there is little chance that you will be able to accurately decipher the scientific level maps and data sets for even what is currently happening let alone predictive models.

I settled on pulling up the PDX Base Reflectivity radar loop (http://radar.weather.gov/radar.php?product=N0R&rid=RTX&loop=yes) and watch it every few hours when there is a weather pattern moving through; this familiarizes you with the way precip bearing clouds drop their payload. When combined with some basic knowledge about how weather patterns are affected by terrain, and temperature, humidity and wind speed you will find that you get better results than the local weather face.

10-14-2012, 09:33 PM
I like http://www.wunderground.com/ - it has loads of maps, charts, statistics, astronomy and almanac facts. Satellite and radar maps (etc) are all NOAA data, of course, but they also have very local reporting from private weather station volunteers.

10-15-2012, 10:21 AM
Now this is a tool we all can use...

I'm sticking this post for our future use.

10-15-2012, 11:00 AM
Sure wish this website would rendering in a functional manner on a mobile browser.
It's just too big for my phone (D4) and the top frame will only display in portrait screen orientation on my nexus 7 tablet :(

OTOH the old fashioned use of animated GIF sidesteps the "Adobe Flash is no longer supported in the future" problem that Android and iOS are getting in the transition to HTML5 ; NOAA's radar loops are mostly flash with some GIFs still there by functional neglect.

If Google managed to get broad spectrum acceptance of anonymous GPS data as an adjunct for official traffic speed data then I really can't wait for cheap atmospheric sensors in all our devices and what that will do to weather forecasting.

10-15-2012, 12:01 PM
Intellicast.com also has a "future" radar that doesn't go as far into the future as the UW site but it did work fine on my iPhone browser. http://www.intellicast.com/Local/WxMap.aspx?location=USOR0275

Agreed on Weather Underground Andy. This is probably my favorite radar map with a loop. http://www.wunderground.com/wundermap/?lat=45.53574753&lon=-122.71496582&zoom=8&pin=Portland%2c%20OR

For the iPhone, I find both the wunderground (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/weather-underground/id486154808?mt=8 ) and weather.com (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/the-weather-channel/id295646461?mt=8 ) apps to have good radar loops which have kept me from a surprise soaking on more than one occasion. I'm sure they have Android apps as well.