Before my days of social media here at AccuWeather, I helped manage the weather products that we put on the web, especially weather radar. Today I'm pleased to announce a new suite of world radar maps and advisories from the national weather services of several countries on AccuWeather.com. All of this gives our international visitors the best weather information on the web (and mobile!), in their native language, while providing U.S. weather enthusiasts a window in which to see foreign weather develop.
Radar has always been available for the United States but ingesting radar images from other countries into one main computer system isn't easy; the timing and colors are different from country to country, and even what the different levels of data means varies, then of course there is the language and characters to go with the data. But our I.T. department has battled through all those challenges and has come out on top.
Some recent additions to our international radar lineup include: West Europe Radar, Scandinavian Radar, and Japan Radar (great for typhoons). The Japan radar not only shows up when you're browsing the website in the native language, Bing also translates the map names (see below). Coming later this year are a radar views of the Caribbean Islands, Spain, and at least four other major countries. Here's a complete list and timeline of radar maps we've added outside of the U.S. over the past 10 years:
- 15-Minute Canadian Radar (AccuWeather.com, 2004) - 5-Minute Canadian Radar (MapSpace, 2009) - 1-Hour U.K./West Europe Radar (MapSpace, 2009) - 5-Minute Canadian Radar (Bing, 2012) - 5-Minute United Kingdom Radar (Bing, 2013) - 5-Minute Japan Radar (Bing, 2013) - 15-Minute Scandinavia* Radar (Bing, 2014) - 15-Minute Northwest Europe* Radar (Bing, 2014)
*Northwest Europe includes Germany, Belgium, France and parts of Italy, Austria and the Czech Republic. Scandinavia includes Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark. Updates are currently every 15 minutes but will be 5 minutes in the weeks ahead.
In addition to all this great interactive radar data via Bing maps, we've added weather advisories, watches and warnings for several countries on AccuWeather.com this year: United Kingdom, Germany and China. Coming soon? More Europe and Asia/Pacific countries.
In cases where the provider gives the warning out in more than one language, we'll display that depending on what language you are browsing AccuWeather.com with. For example, the German weather warning below has its title and full-text displayed in English because I'm browsing AccuWeather.com in English. The China warning above has only the title in English when I see it, but the entire site is in Simplified Chinese if you're browsing the site in that language.
And here in the U.S., of course, NEXRAD radar updates will now occur every 100 seconds, instead of every 4-10 minutes, thanks to AVSET/SAILS.
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