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Archived NEXRAD data can be utilized to present a picture of the environmental conditions for any situation where weather conditions can be a factor. A common application is in aircraft accident reconstruction where continued flight into or near thunderstorms is an issue of consideration. One of the first steps to integrating NEXRAD data into a 3D environment is to create a timelapse sequence of the numerous sweeps of the radar system. This sequence will then be placed into the animation environment where the relationship of other elements can be interpreted. Seen below is one such timelapse sequence, generated from archived Nexrad Level II data for the Denver facility (KFTG) for the period of August 8th, 9th, 10th and 11th of 2008. Reflectivity, Radial Velocity and Spectrum Width are color-graded according to their intensity (or velocity) and overlaid onto a basemap of Colorado including county boundaries. The visualization also presents Level III NEXRAD data in a 3D format. Level III Composite reflectivity (NCT) and Echo Tops (NET) are used in conjunction to build a topological weather surface representing the intensity of the weather. Adding a third dimension to the visualization offers a better perspective on the data by presenting two separate layers of information in a single graphic representation.
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