Downloading RIDGE Radar Images

Unlike the old radar display, "right clicking" on a RIDGE radar image will only allow you to copy or "save to the clipboard" the very top layer, based upon the selected overlays. In the toggle overlay section, just below the radar image, the right most selected overlay is the top image.

The right most overlay selected is the top image

In the example above, the "Legend" graphic is the top image selected. Trying to save the RIDGE image will only save the legend graphic. In the toggle overlay example (below), the "Cities" overlay is the top graphic and the only one that can be saved by selecting the image.

The right most overlay selected is the top image

A typical RIDGE radar view is comprised of seven individual images layered on top of each other through the use of style sheets. Except for the topography, these images are a "gif" format with a white background that has been made transparent. (The topography image is a compressed jpeg image.) To reproduce the RIDGE radar image, each layer needs to be captured and stacked on top of each other.

But it is not as bad as it sounds as fortunately, for any one radar site, once a copy of the overlays are obtained, only the radar image and the "Warnings" and "Legend" overlays change. The "Highways", "Topo", "Counties", "Rivers", and "Cities" overlays only needed to be downloaded once.

At present, there are three ways to obtain images from the RIDGE radar.

  1. Grunt method. Use the overlay toggles and "right click" on each layer to save it to the local computer. Remember, this only saves the right-most image as indicated by the toggle bar.
  2. Screen Capture. Use the toggle overlays to configure the image then use a screen capture utility to save the image to the local computer. This saves the steps needed to stack the images onto of each other in a graphics program and is also how all the RIDGE images used in this section were obtained.
  3. Download the individual files. All RIDGE radar images are downloadable and all that is needed is the URL. The table (below) provides the paths to each image. For the radar image, legend, or warnings images, the most recent graphic available ends in "_0.gif". For example, the most recent radar image for the Fort Worth Doppler radar is...

    http://radar.weather.gov/ridge/RadarImg/N0R/FWS_N0R_0.gif

    To view and retrieve the 20 most recent radar images then the URL is...

    http://radar.weather.gov/ridge/RadarImg/N0R/FWS/

    The filename format for these recent images is: XXX_YYYYMMDD_hhmm_N??.gif, where
    XXX - Radar site ID
    YYYY - year
    MM - month
    DD - day
    hh - hour
    mm - minutes
    N?? - image ID (N0R, N0S, etc)
The paths to the RIDGE graphics/images are http://radar.weather.gov/ridge (then)
Directory Image ID Directory (for past images)
or
Filename (for current image)
Legend
/RadarImg /N0R /XXX
Short Range images (views out to 124 nmi)
N0R: Base Reflectivity
N0S: Storm Relative Motion
N0V: Base Velocity
N1P: One-Hour Precipitation
NCR: Composite Reflectivity
NTP: Storm Total Precipitation

Long Range image (view out to 248 nmi)
N0Z: Base Reflectivity

XXX: Radar site ID

The file name format for past images is as follows:

XXX_YYYYMMDD_hhmm_N??.gif

YYYY - year
MM - month
DD - day
hh - hour
mm - minutes
N?? - image ID (N0R, N0S, etc)
/XXX_N0R_0.gif
/N0S /XXX
/XXX_N0S_0.gif
/N0V /XXX
/XXX_N0V_0.gif
/N0Z /XXX
/XXX_N0Z_0.gif
/N1P /XXX
/XXX_N1P_0.gif
/NCR /XXX
/XXX_NCR_0.gif
/NTP /XXX
/XXX_NTP_0.gif


The paths to the RIDGE overlays are http://radar.weather.gov/ridge (then)
Directory Overlay
Directory
Directory (for short range)
or
Directory (for long range)
Filename
/Overlays /Topo /Short /XXX_Topo_Short.jpg
/Long /XXX_Topo_Long.jpg
/County /Short /XXX_County_Short.gif
/Long /XXX_County_Long.gif
/Rivers /Short /XXX_Rivers_Short.gif
/Highways /Short /XXX_Highways_Short.gif
/Long /XXX_Highways_Long.gif
/Cities /Short /XXX_City_Short.gif
/Long /XXX_City_Long.gif


The paths to the NWS severe weather warnings overlays are http://radar.weather.gov/ridge (then)
Directory Directory Directory (for past images)
or
Filename (for current image)
Legend
/Warnings /Short /XXX
XXX: Radar site ID

The file name format for past images is as follows:
XXX_YYYYMMDD_hhmm_N??_Warnings.gif
YYYY - year
MM - month
DD - day
hh - hour
mm - minutes
N?? - image ID (N0R, N0S, etc)
/XXX_Warnings_0.gif
/Long /XXX
/XXX_Warnings_0.gif


The paths to the RIDGE legend overlays are http://radar.weather.gov/ridge then
Directory Image ID Directory (for past images)
or
Filename (for current image)
Legend
/Legend /N0R /XXX
Short Range images (views out to 124 nmi)
N0R: Base Reflectivity
N0S: Storm Relative Motion
N0V: Base Velocity
N1P: One-Hour Precipitation
NCR: Composite Reflectivity
NTP: Storm Total Precipitation

Long Range image (view out to 248 nmi)
N0Z: Base Reflectivity

XXX: Radar site ID

The file name format for past images is as follows:

XXX_YYYYMMDD_hhmm_N??_Legend.gif

YYYY - year
MM - month
DD - day
hh - hour
mm - minutes
N?? - image ID (N0R, N0S, etc)
/XXX_N0R_Legend_0.gif
/N0S /XXX
/XXX_N0S_Legend_0.gif
/N0V /XXX
/XXX_N0V_Legend_0.gif
/N0Z /XXX
/XXX_N0Z_Legend_0.gif
/N1P /XXX
/XXX_N1P_Legend_0.gif
/NCR /XXX
/XXX_NCR_Legend_0.gif
/NTP /XXX
/XXX_NTP_Legend_0.gif

 
Radars ID's by Site
Radars ID's by State

Next: The GIS(t) of it all