We're changing our WunderBlogs. Learn more about this important update on our FAQ page.

Radar Palette Improvements

By: Product Team , 7:33 PM GMT on November 24, 2014

Hello Wundergrounders!

Over the past year we’ve made significant improvements to the Weather Underground website, not least of which was a complete site redesign. As part of the redesign project, we improved the way we present current conditions and forecasts, and we want to continue improving the tools you use to monitor the weather near you.

As such, we will be making significant improvements to our radar product offering over the next few months, including increased radar resolution and improved user interfaces. The first change we are making is an improved radar color palette.

Radar Color Palette

We have received lots of user feedback regarding our radar color palette. The most common piece of feedback has been that Weather Underground radar tends to skew on the “dramatic” side - making gentle rain showers look like threatening storms. We have decided to adjust our color palette so that it more accurately represents conditions you will feel on the ground.

After multiple rounds of color palette adjustments and user studies, we found that the color transitions from greens to yellows, and yellows to reds, greatly influence how meteorologists and weather enthusiasts interpret the strength and threat of storms.

In our new color palette, we based our transitions from green to yellow, and yellow to red, on meteorologist feedback, user studies, and the NWS correlations of dBZ to rain rates. We will now transition from green to yellow at 35 dBZ, and transition from yellow to red at 55 dBZ.

Also, for the Mix and Snow conditions color scale, light colors will indicate light precipitation and darker colors will indicate heavier precipitation. (In the past, the color scale was reverse, and we received lots of feedback saying that was confusing.)

We have also changed our color palette so that radar imagery will be easy to distinguish on a variety of different basemap types, such as standard Google maps, Apple maps, and dark maps.



The new palette makes it much easier to identify storm structure and storm intensity. The yellows and reds that represent the most intense part of a storm are now easily distinguished from the lighter, less intense aspects of a storm. This makes it especially easy to track dangerous weather features like severe thunderstorms and tornadoes.





We hope you also like our improved radar imagery, and find it easier to track storms near you. Our next project is to improve our radar and satellite maps user interfaces, so it's even easier to watch for storms - look for those changes soon!

Sincerely,
The Weather Underground Product Team


The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

Log In or Join

You be able to leave comments on this blog.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 32 - 1

Page: 1 — Blog Index

32. WunderBlogAdmin (Admin)
9:27 PM GMT on January 07, 2016
Please visit the New@WU blog to leave feedback or other comments: http://www.wunderground.com/blog/WUNews
31. Stebbins
2:30 PM GMT on December 27, 2014
I studied meteorology a bit in my undergrad work in Nebraska and have always enjoyed the weather and now especially the BEST site (Weather Underground) there is that is available to the general public. Now I live in Spring, Texas and really enjoy every aspect of the weather, I suffered a spinal injury 8 yrs. ago and so I am home full time on disability and I go to the weather underground page maybe 10-15 times a day, I really would love to have a mini weather station in my large backyard to be able to monitor and report real time or provide updates at any time. Weather Underground Team- you have really done an outstanding job with your improvements. Thank you!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
30. icerabbit
2:12 PM GMT on December 11, 2014
Absolutely fantastic!

I abandoned WU a while back because of the "dramatic imagery" that didn't match reality on the ground / in the field; and so I am very happy that feedback was heard, that you studied the complaint and data, as well as communicated with pros, observers and end users.

Time to bookmark and load the WU apps again; and test it out.

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
29. powderman
9:33 PM GMT on December 10, 2014
How do I get the old maps back
I do not like this new maps at all.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
28. matches
3:45 PM GMT on December 06, 2014
I like it
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
27. Jesant13
3:56 AM GMT on December 06, 2014
I like the improved radar imagery. I just noticed it today as I had not been on this site for a while.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
26. miqrogroove
1:43 PM GMT on December 05, 2014
It appears the new color palette is not being applied in Clear Air Mode when viewing single site radar. Could you please check that for bugs?
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
25. WunderAlertBot (Admin)
10:55 PM GMT on December 04, 2014
wuproductteam has created a new entry.
24. SigSaur
9:11 PM GMT on December 04, 2014
Thanks, sounds/looks good.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
23. spiel496
7:44 PM GMT on December 03, 2014
Quoting 9. DrVinnyGoombatz:

In these modern times of media sensationalism, it’s gratifying at least some presentations are trending toward Joe Friday’s “just the facts mam, … just the facts” bent. Some get irritated at the FNC attitude of “we report, you decide” but I appreciate it.

On the contrary, it could be called sensationalism to make the color jump from dark green to bright yellow at an arbitrary radar echo threshold of +35dBz. "Look out! A bright yellow band approaches! Oh...it's just raining a little bit harder..."
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
22. spiel496
7:29 PM GMT on December 03, 2014
I think the new palette is a bad move. Yes, it makes structure easier to see, but it is false structure. What is the significance of the sharp transition at +35dBz? The rainfall at +35 is not dramatically harder than that at +30, yet now the two are colored completely differently.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
21. jpotter (Admin)
8:11 PM GMT on December 02, 2014
Quoting 19. mptyler:

1) I am among the 12% of men who are color blind to some degree. The best thing you could do for us is to find some way that if you hover the cursor over a color on the legend, in some way the corresponding color is highlighted on the map. Or maybe have a feature that could be toggled on/off that would open a small explanatory balloon when you hover and pause over a point on the map.


You bring up a good point, and we have a tool that might help. When viewing the radar layer on WunderMap, if you click on the Legends tab at the top right, you'll be able to turn on "Show Legend Value at Mouse". It'll show you the precip type and dbz value as you hover over the radar.
20. JohnW
4:03 PM GMT on November 29, 2014
Don't know who to direct this to but here goes. Why has my desktop stopped auto updating with my station data? My default browser is Google Chrome but I've tried IE with the same results.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
19. mptyler
1:23 PM GMT on November 28, 2014
1) I am among the 12% of men who are color blind to some degree. The best thing you could do for us is to find some way that if you hover the cursor over a color on the legend, in some way the corresponding color is highlighted on the map. Or maybe have a feature that could be toggled on/off that would open a small explanatory balloon when you hover and pause over a point on the map.
2) Unrelated to colors, in my Firefox browser if I bring up the Wundermap in a tab, and then open, and leave open, another tab, the Wundermap does not refresh in the background. And when I switch back to the Wundermap there seems to be no way to force it to refresh.
3) When I click to open the Wundermap, it always opens with the Layers sidebar open even if I have previously clicked Save Preferences with all sidebars closed. It would nice if Save Preferences included the open/close state of the sidebars.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
18. DopplerMatt
5:38 AM GMT on November 26, 2014
I would like to finally see smoothed level 2 radar data capability. Currently its only available unsmoothed. Additionally, i would like to see a change to bing maps as google maps continues to be the old version with numerous new city name locations overlaid on old city name placements and road signs over other older road signs. Its very upsetting.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
17. DocNDswamp
5:26 AM GMT on November 26, 2014
Plus, you finally got around to fixing the radar URL link in Classic that I submitted a support ticket about, uhh, let's see, back on Fri Oct 3rd.
Wasn't too hard to add the "/map.asp" back, eh WunderYakuza?
;)
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
16. ccappy123
2:12 AM GMT on November 26, 2014
how do you track a storm?
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
15. RhodeIsland
10:04 PM GMT on November 25, 2014
Great job! I continued to go to "classic" until a few months ago. Now, the new wunderground is my go-to weather.
Thank you for a great site.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
14. Angela Fritz , Atmospheric Scientist
9:25 PM GMT on November 25, 2014
Needs moar purple. <3
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
13. VARTV
5:41 PM GMT on November 25, 2014
Great...
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
12. DRWII
5:27 PM GMT on November 25, 2014
Excellent! Thanks for the hard work.

wunderground is the first choice for info.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
11. Barefootontherocks
2:18 PM GMT on November 25, 2014
Quoting 8. TheRasberryPatch:

That is nice you worked on the radar. Now can you work on putting the community member blog update page on the main weather station page? It was so nice when we could just go to the bottom of the main page and see which blog was updated recently. Now we have to move to another page to check on the blogs.
Good morniing. Since nu wu was born, some members have been asking the link to recently updated blogs on the local forecast pages be restored. Early on, the suggestion was made more than once at their page for such things, has apparently been reviewed and refused, apparently, as there is no indication the developers placed it into the "we're working on it" category.

I'm pretty sure the developers have no idea this link existed and what it was they removed.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
10. PianoBill
1:59 PM GMT on November 25, 2014
I think I am going to like your Radar Palette Improvements. Now, how about storm tracks? It's operation is intermittent.... Telling me No Storm Tracks when I can see them on my map....
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
9. DrVinnyGoombatz
1:20 PM GMT on November 25, 2014
In these modern times of media sensationalism, it’s gratifying at least some presentations are trending toward Joe Friday’s “just the facts mam, … just the facts” bent. Some get irritated at the FNC attitude of “we report, you decide” but I appreciate it.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
8. TheRasberryPatch
1:06 PM GMT on November 25, 2014
That is nice you worked on the radar. Now can you work on putting the community member blog update page on the main weather station page? It was so nice when we could just go to the bottom of the main page and see which blog was updated recently. Now we have to move to another page to check on the blogs.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
7. migzkeen
6:11 AM GMT on November 25, 2014
nice new radar palette. but please consider checking the accuracy of cloud cover to actual coordinates at western pacific area... I think it didn't fit.. Please....
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
5. Barefootontherocks
2:03 AM GMT on November 25, 2014
The new radar looks great. Thank you!
:)
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
4. BelmontJeff
10:39 PM GMT on November 24, 2014
Great job on the redesign of the color palette! I had just opened the radar to see how close the rain was and noticed the change in the green color. This caused me to do a Google search on "Wunderground radar color change" and found the explanation. It's great that you consulted meteorologists and users. This palette change should certainly be truer to what is occurring.

The radar updates have always been timely (6-minute intervals!) and accurate but the improvement to the palette is icing on the precipitation cake.

Keep up the great work! Looking forward to seeing the next improvements.

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
3. kyrebel502
10:09 PM GMT on November 24, 2014
be nice to have a quicker thing for radar on the desktop app,thanks
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
2. baxtheweatherman
9:54 PM GMT on November 24, 2014
Looks great! Thanks for the improvements!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1. whitewabit
8:01 PM GMT on November 24, 2014
I like the new colors and makes it easier to distinguish between different layers of severe precipitation !!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:

Viewing: 32 - 1

Page: 1 — Blog Index

Top of Page
Ad Blocker Enabled

Weather Underground Product Team

About wuproductteam

Product and technology updates from the Weather Underground. Great new things are coming!

Local Weather

Scattered Clouds
57 °F
Scattered Clouds

wuproductteam's Recent Photos

precip_hooks_for_blog.jpg
precip_for_blog.jpg
Screen Shot 2015-05-27 at 4.47.06 PM.jpg
Screen Shot 2015-05-27 at 9.52.54 AM.jpg