National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

The NWS website has been the face of NWS radar data since 2003. When it was developed, the site illustrated what NWS could show using emerging technologies. It was a reliable site for viewing radar and warning data on the web, and it pushed the bounds of how NWS could provide data to customers in flexible GIS formats that they could integrate into their own data mashups. Even now, the site routinely receives around 1.75 million hits on an average day, and hundreds of millions of hits per day during active weather.

The face of technology has changed dramatically throughout the last decade. By 2018 more than 81% of Americans 13 years and over owned a smartphone. These devices have changed how and where we browse the internet. By 2018, mobile devices generated more than half of all website traffic worldwide. 

The website is not mobile-friendly in its current form. It also utilizes technology (Flash) that will be obsolete in 2020 when Adobe stops updating and distributing Flash.

In April/May 2020, in response to these dramatic changes, NWS will replace the existing site and features with the following:

  • Radar data and warnings presented on a dynamic map that allows zooming and scrolling
  • Radar data will include MRMS Level 2 in Quality Controlled (QCed) and non-QCed form, including rain/snow delineation of radar data
  • 24x7 support with the system moving to Integrated Dissemination Program (IDP)
  • Individual and CONUS and OCONUS-level consumable GIS Services
  • Saving animations out for use elsewhere (e.g. social media)