Managing Real-time Weather Data

RAL is a pioneer in managing and disseminating real-time weather data to the atmospheric science community, the aviation community, and other users of weather data for over twenty years. Utilizing widely-available, real-time data available from NOAA and other sources, RAL provides thousands of graphical representations of daily weather charts as well as some original, raw data to serve its users. The voluminous amounts of satellite, radar, upper air and surface data available are synthesized and depicted simply and efficiently for the many users requiring it on a daily, even hourly, basis.

Consistent with NCAR's mission to serve the nation’s universities, RAL’s Real Time Weather Data website and its associated products are frequently used in classrooms around the country. It is also used by meteorologists in the commercial sector, the military (including in search and rescue operations), and weather enthusiasts of all types. 

A highly successful spinoff of RAL’s Real–time Weather Data work is the Aviation Digital Data Service (ADDS) website. ADDS is a dissemination program that uses web pages to distribute aviation weather data. There are two instances of ADDS web pages: Experimental ADDS which is run at NCAR and Operational ADDS which runs at the National Weather Service Aviation Weather Center in Kansas City. RAL uses Experimental ADDS to expose new prototype weather products to aviation users and gather feedback on the products' utility. Operational ADDS provides weather products that have been through the full review and approval process for operational use in aviation. The ADDS site won a UCAR Technology Achievement award in 1999 and a Government Technology Leadership Award in 2000.