Product and technology updates from the Weather Underground. Great new things are coming!
By: Product Team , 7:33 PM GMT on November 24, 2014
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!
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.