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I'm making a personal (non-commercial) project that requires weather radar data. I'm primarily interested in precipitation (rain, snow, sleet, etc) and not sun amount, temperature, etc.

  • data should be freely available
  • the area should be Metro Vancouver
  • hourly resolution/data point or less is preferred
  • recent/real-time data preferred over historical (many years ago)
  • not aggregate over an area (I don't want "1 mm rain in Vancouver at 11:00 am on April 20, 2024", but where the rain is. In the image below, it shows rain coming in from the West, and moving towards East)

weather radar

(image source)

I do not want the raw sensor data at a single point of location (latitude/longitude of radar, precipitation at radar location, etc), but DPQPE/PRECIP-ET reflectivity value from radars with Blocking Beam/Beam Attenuation/Overshooting Beam/Virga/Anomalous Propagation/Ground Clutter/Electromagnetic Interference filtered out.

  • any file format is acceptable if I can process it
  • any authority type is acceptable (government-issued data, crowdsourced data, etc) as long as it is reasonably accurate (doesn't saying sunny when it's pouring rain)
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  • Raw weather radar data has a spatial dimension, so when you mention information from radar data for specific locations, these are derivatives and not the original data. The link you provided points to hourly climate data from surface weather stations. This is something entirely different. I assume you are interested in some spatial precipitation product based on weather radar data that has been used to process the image above?
    – dimfalk
    Commented Apr 21 at 13:49
  • @dimfalk yes, that is what I want. I do not know what it is called. From the information on the "About radar images" page, I think I want the DPQPE/PRECIP-ET reflectivity value from radars with Blocking Beam/Beam Attenuation/Overshooting Beam/Virga/Anomalous Propagation/Ground Clutter/Electromagnetic Interference filtered out Commented Apr 21 at 16:07
  • Maybe edit your question accordingly if you're interested specifically in weather radar data?
    – dimfalk
    Commented Apr 21 at 20:00
  • @dimfalk updated post with additional details Commented Apr 21 at 20:18

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Given my previous experience with weather radar data (I'm not really familiar with the situation in North America I must admit), I found some products which might be interesting for you - might, because I do not know what exactly your project requires. Do you just want to visualize data on your personal homepage, embed in your webGIS framework for visualization purposes or do you want to extract data as input for a hydrological model?

By the way, some additional information from the MSC Open Data FAQ:

The weather radar data that we freely provide to the public are the North American Radar Composite and Extrapolation via GeoMet-Weather Geospatial Web Services. The North American Radar Composite is available every 6 minutes for the past 3 hours. We also offer the GIF images on the MSC open data server. Documentation of radar observations can be consulted for other radar data and products.

The raw data, as well as various other products, are provided by a cost-recovered service. As part of this service, we push the data to the client's FTP server and provide a 24/7 service. The documentation for radar products and radar data formats is available.

However, I have not worked with US NEXRAD data before but I would expect they did not crop data to the national border so there is probably a chance the radar site in Seattle (ID: KATX) does also cover Vancouver (just guessing). Data is available from NOAA/NCDC and the period of record seems to depend on the scope of postprocessing. L2 data is available in near real-time and L3 data until t-2 days. Direct download from AWS is available here and required decoders are supplied at NOAA/NCEI.

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