Interested in using Nexrad Radar
rainfall for historical analysis or in real-time on a tight budget like for free???
GetRealtime is part of a complete system for downloading, processing, storing
radar information with event or continuous runoff simulations (using my simple
SCS CN soil moisture accounting)... and no, you do not need GIS software because
the NWS is our GIS expert and have already gridded the radar info as 1 kilometer
gridded images at highest resolution 0.5 dbZ every 5 minutes. We just average the image pixel color
rainfall inside our boundary and skip the GIS. I will show you the steps with
several case studies on how it all works in real-time. And with you at the
helm, I bet you can learn how to exceed any commercial service available so why
not get started today. Run your own system top to bottom for rainfall
frequency, flood analysis, and
compute loads, DO, and who wants to know that stuff anyway yourself.
Don't worry, we will not be dealing with gridded radar records or gridded runoff
modeling unless you insist on being some sort of
with sub par results. Instead of the usual
Thiessen polygon weighted watershed rainfall record we substitude the averaged
radar rainfall over the watershed. So the only additional record needed is the
adjustment of this radar rainfall record so add a few FREE real-time
Wunderground weather stations and viola!... you just entered the 21st
Century! Toss in the 6-hr NWS rainfall QPF's distributed to 5-minutes for
the next 7 days and you have entered where few have gone before... Happytown USA
This FREE suite of programs and
1) GetMapArea -- For us GIS ignorant (just Google Earth) for digitizing basin
boundaries, runoff coefficients calibration, rainfall durations, and hydrograph
shaping. This is how you did it before NED's and DEM's and Shapes and Layers,
but if you already got your boundary lat/longs the hardway, thats ok too.
2) GetNexrad -- For current visualization of radar
imagery, historical analysis, basin area averaging, gridded radar output, QPF
forecasting, and radar track Nowcasting... AND storm ETA for NASCAR race fans.
3) GetRealtime -- Downloads current or historical radar imagery,
rain gages, flows, forecasts, and computes
gage/radar adjustment and applies them, incorporates NWS QPF's, storm track
Nowcasts, snowmelt, ET, and then simulates event and continuous runoff and
routings with with muliple runs and traces and what ifs which means each
real-time forecast and runoff comp can also automatically be saved for post
event analysis. Routings will
handle most anything short of Grand Coulee for the next 400 years hourly or 30
years at 5-minutes on my 1.3 gig XP. Has 4 Monte Carlo methods for varying any of the
runoff coefficients and the rainfall record for calibration or stochastic
4) GetAccess -- Stores the inputs and outputs of all of the above in a simple
Microsoft Access database that writes directly to and from MS Excel (also
HEC-DSS ready format, GetRealtime writes/reads direct dss).
5) GetGraphs -- For viewing all this stuff
and more in real-time. You will be the master of all you survey, whether that be
a very important sewer
system or just some pretty mountain glacier.
So where do I start???
Kick start a fully operational download project for radar rainfall runoff from my Site
Map page at Start Here! Unzip and just start running it. For
details if needed on radar rainfall installation read
do it yourself
adjusted radar. For an historical example see the epic
2010 Nashville storm
on a small 12 sqmi basin.
Real-time automation of all phases and it repeats every 5 minutes
or as needed. Once your projects are setup, just hit go, sit back, and
behold your creation's glory and smirk at the info starved that will always be
1) Real-time data aquisition--free web weather info needed for ET and snowmelt,
rain gages, other ODBC data connected sources, Nexrad Radar images and rainfall
conversion, and 7-day NWS forecasts.
2) Real-time processing of forecasts, snowmelt, ET, rain gage averaging, radar
rainfall adjustment using much more sophisticated methods.
Saves forecasts for post event analysis.
3) Real-time modeling of runoff or shelling required rainfall and info to
Hec-Hms but mine is better.
4) Real-time soil moisture and groundwater accounting and returns using my
custom methods using SCS Curve Number formulas that are simple to understand and
monitor. Always the right Curve Number at the right time (see CN graph below).
5) Real-time post processing the runoff by routing and stage computations or
shelling Hec-Ras for unsteady flow and inundation mapping.
6) Real-time retrieval of any shelled model results storing it all in a REAL
database like MS Access or other ODBC connection.
7) Real-time viewing of your rainfall and runoff values or other info on the
looping GetNexrad radar screen with subbasins and thumbnail plots.
8) Real-time multi-chart and page viewing with alarms of any database value,
rainfall frequencies, web cams or web info. A real war room dream!
let the system put all of the above in real-time on your website for customer
Sorry, I don't know anything about GIS so that's one less thing to worry about.
If you don't know where it's at by now, you'll never get hip to this trip. ;-)
Ok, I'm learning.
1) GetRealtime.exe--automated retrieval, computation, and storage of real-time hydrological and meteorological
data available free on the web for continuous computations and simulations.
Specializing in fast NEXRAD and Canada radar dbz conversion to rainfall and adjustment for
runoff simulation for real-time flood alerts or historical studies. Also uses
the 7-day NWS hourly forecast for flood and snowmelt.
GetRealtime.exe started as a simple download of USGS 15-minute flow data. Every
new source added since then is fashioned as if it also were just another USGS
flow station. For example you could think of Nexrad radar rainfall as just another USGS flow
station with a tipping bucket. And runoff is just another computation that
GetRealtime does on the rainfall. Just like converting a USGS gage height to
flow. For Nexrad rainfall all you need are some points to say where the rainfall
of interest is, hence GetMapArea & GetNexrad are used to
provide GetRealtime with these points of interest. GetRealtime uses methods to
provide great results while keeping input needs to a minimum, but still allowing
for options for the pros.
GetRealtime can write its radar adjusted rainfall or its runoff to Hec-DSS files
in real-time so that you could also use Hec-HMS or Hec-RAS to do your bidding.
GetRealtime can automate Hec-RAS to do its
unsteady flow routings and read the results back into the GetRealtime system in
real-time and likewise Hec-HMS. An esteemed RAS user retorts, "I've
never had such good data to do a complete calibration with before. This is
cool!! It used to take about a full day to get the data ready to do calibration
runs. Here, we have the hydrology and the hydraulics working hand in hand to
produce everything." Didn't think you could ever run and link
the HEC programs with automated data sources and a REAL database...
in real-time... well now you can... but unless you are invested heavily in a
current large project, why would you.
HEC's Water Management System (CWMS/RTS)--Ooo
geez... their recalibration of runoff paramaters for current flows seems an odd
aproach. It's probably the last
rainfall error causing wrong flow--but like I was saying, GetRealtime is a comprehensive
data acquisition and hydrologic modeling system for short-term decision support
of water control operations and flooding potentials in real time. It encompasses
data collection, validation and transformation, data storage, visualization,
real time model simulation, and data dissemination, and more, and can even use
the HEC models... but way way simpler and advanced,
Just hit Go and go back to sleep till you get a text message at 2 AM that things
are about to start hitting the fan because of a bad forecast... you shouldn't
have been sleeping anyway so explain that to the mayor.
2) GetGraphs.exe--displaying a mix of the real-time data and web
screens and gifs by auto paging through screens the user has defined with auto
updating at regular intervals. Also good for monitoring alot
of stuff like Plant Information Management and Quality Control databases with
alarms for any real-time time series database that needs an eyeball on things
now. Just light up that big screen TV monitor with GetGraphs when the boss
is around instead of the ball game. GetGraphs and GetNexrad screens
can be automated to update your website automatically so all your personal, like
the mayor, can view rain gage, radar, and runoff values in realtime on their
3) GetAccess.exe--managing and display of the real-time and historical data stored in an
MS Access database (the MS Access runtime can be downloaded for users not owning
MS Office), an Excel database, or other ODBC database. GetAccess can write
the database data to text file or Excel and Excel can write it back with the
GetAccess output xls data editing file. Write Excel files with
HEC-DSS header info for storing to HEC-DSS files using the Excel HEC-DSS AddIn.
4) GetNexrad.exe--For looking at the rain,
the most important thing of all, and a whole nother story.
hit 'Start Realtime Retrieval' and go back to sleep...
GetRealtime and GetGraphs’ example of many auto paging screens...
GetNexrad for viewing boundaries, basin radar rain, rain gages, plots and much
GetAccess for database management
of multi-run what ifs, stochastics, and forecast what were's...
Continuous simulations of adjusted radar rainfall-runoff, radar snowpack and
melt, and much more....
What real-time web data sources are made available by the GetRealtime
system without charge or registration:
1) Weather Underground’s thousands of weather stations around the world
providing info such as Temperature, Humidity, Wind Speed, Dew Point, and
2) US Geological Survey’s thousands of stream flow, reservoir, and water
quality stations providing info such as Flow, Elevation, pH, Dissolved Oxygen,
3) California Data Exchange Center providing both hydrological and
meteorological data from hundreds of state and federal sources through out
4) US Conservation Service providing SNOTEL snowpack depths and other
meteorological data throughout the western US mountains.
5) US Bureau of Reclamation providing reservoir, meteorological, and
evapotranspiration data through out the Pacific Northwest and Great Plains
Regions of the US.
6) US Army Corps of Engineers providing reservoir and stream data through out the US.
7) California Irrigation and Management Information System providing
meteorological and evapotranspiration data at hundreds of sites through out
8) NWS - AFWS Automated Flood Warning System precip gages.
9) NOAA Nexrad Doppler WSR-88D class radar imagery providing real time rainfall rates that are
converted to areal average rainfall amounts for anywhere in the USA.
10) Canada's 31 C band weather radars real time rainfall
rates that are converted to areal average rainfall amounts.
11) Canada's Water Survey of Canada streamflows and
12) Any other ODBC database on your computer or over the
internet. You provide the connection string and SQL statement and away you
go in real-time. Computations can be made on the fly or stored first for more
13) Your personal weather station or other text
14) HEC-DSS files using their MS Excel HEC-DSS Add-In or
directly creates and automates Hec-Ras unsteady flow projects.
15) The World Wide Web providing screen shots and gifs such as weather
radar loops, webcams,
current assessments, current prices, and just about
everything else imaginable.
What kinds of computations can be made real-time during the GetRealtime retrieval:
1) Conversions such as Temp C to Temp F, gage height to elevation, and
metric to English or English to Metric.
2) Computation of stream flow from gage heights, gate openings, and such
with shifts applied with stage and time.
3) Convert rainfall, snowpack, reservoir contents to percent of normal.
4) Convert reservoir elevation to contents.
5) Computation of both tall(alfalfa) and short(grass) hourly reference ET
from Temp, Humidity and Wind Speed at Wunderground weather stations using
methods of the ASCE Standard Penman-Monteith with a special solar computation if
solar not available.
6) Compute crop and lawn water use from the computed reference ET.
7) Convert Dissolved Oxygen to percent saturation.
8) Convert conductivity to TDS.
9) Compute Absolute Humidity from Temp and RH.
10) Compute rainfall-runoff from weather station rainfall
or average of stations and display
routed and combined hydrographs.
11) Compute rainfall-runoff from adjusted NOAA Nexrad radar rainfall imagery and display
routed and combined hydrographs for real-time and continuous simulation.
Use GetNexrad to provide 1 to 3 hour basin rainfall nowcasts based on storm
tracking speed for added lead time, GetRealtime's Forecast Wizard... and add NWS QPF quantative precip
forecasts for 7 days more lead time.
12) Continuous snowpack and melt recod for realtime rainfall-runoff and display
routed and combined hydrographs for real-time and continuous simulation.
13) Get, Combine, Subtract, Divert, and Route unlimited number of
sub-basins with Tatum, Muskingum, and Cascading Modpul routings and an adjusted
14) Or just about any computation you can put in the form of up to 5 equations
relating the multiple parameters being retrieved and can include date and time,
shifts, and conditionals for which to use.
Setup Wizards for computation of radar rainfall, radar
adjust, runoff, snowmelt, ET, solar radiation, long wave radiation, and stream
flow routing. Evan
beginners can turn a nearby Wunderground weather station into a cornucopia of
Need a simple alternative to HEC-HMS Green-Ampt and don't think you can use your
favorite loss method like the SCS CN method in a continuous model... think
again. GetRealtime's rainfall-runoff lumped model simulation parameters can fit
the recessions and groundwater returns from bogs to rock bottoms.
Minimum required parameters from the user for runoff simulation:
1) Lag time to peak in hours.
2) Basin area in square miles.
3) Initial Loss or SCS Curve Number.
4) Constant Loss in/hr.
5) Percent impervioius %.
6) Soil Group (A,B,C,D) for soil recovery factor..
Additional parameters with defaults the user can supply:
1) Time-step, 1-day, 1-hour, 5-minute.
2) Unit-graph modification with 5 straight forward parameters for peak,
interflow, and recession shaping...
...or select from several dimensionless graphs like SCS, urban, USBR regionals,
Clark 2 parameter,
and linear reservoir.
3) Rainfall adjust factor.
4) Wet and Dry SCS curve number limits.
5) Groundwater storage recovery factor.
6) Groundwater base flow.
7) Groundwater loss factor.
8) Impervious directly connected factor.
9) Interception factor.
10) Water use factors (Kc) for adjusting reference ETo
and a seasonal riparian ET adjustment factor.
11) Kansas defualt ETo or computed ETo record (ASCE Penman-Monteith calulcation
with all defaults provided except the Temp, Wind, Humidity record usually from
any Wunderground station).
12) Snowpack and melt applied to rainfall record (Physical 1 layer
heat transfer model with
all defaults provided except the Temp, Wind, Humidity record).
Rainfall-Runoff simulation setup wizard:
ET evapotranspiration setup wizard for those not in Kansas anymore:
Snowpack and melt setup wizard (solar and longwave radiation will be computed):
QPF forecast wizard:
SCS Curve Number method adapted for continuous simulation with variable lag
2 gage adjusted radar SCS CN runoff and 4 day NWS QPF forecasts:
And with enough routing methods to keep both California and Arizona guessing.
Don't see what you need? Just contact me below.
Microsoft Windows 98 or better... like XP, Vista, 7, 8... Owning MS Access
is not required, see Free Downloads runtime but I think it ships with Vista and
Please use these programs freely, but if you would like to remove the nag screen
on startup for GetGraphs and GetMapArea and keep me from starving then you will need a registration number
FindMySoft Editor's Review
GetRealtime - view real time weather information
The weather is extremely
important for all of us. It influences our life and our decisions and that's why
it's important to know its condition at all times. There are numerous computer
applications on the market for displaying weather conditions, but none of them
match the complexity of GetRealtime. This Windows application is able to
retrieve real time data from a large number of weather stations worldwide.
Installing this program is a very simple process, as the process is simple to
complete and requires only a couple of clicks for this. After installing and
launching the application, the user will be presented with a simple and
intuitive interface, from where he can choose the desired weather station. This
can be done by opening a large list of weather stations, which can be edited and
the user can add his own stations.
... And some more stuff
GetNexrad Screen Shot (It's Free):
GetMapArea Screen Shot (It's Free):
Additional page links about
ET, Runoff, and Nexrad Radar help and comparisons:
Getting Started with Adjusted Radar Rainfall
List of How To Videos on Youtube
Help Page for GetNexrad.exe
Nexrad Rainfall to Tipping Bucket Comparison
(how I got started and you shouldn't)
About the webmaster:
10 years as field man, flood and surface water records hydrologist with the US
20 years as
office man and modeler in flood and water supply
studies with the US Bureau of Reclamation.
* Currently unemployed man.
Got a question, shoot me an email. I've got nothing
better to do... till NASCAR starts. If anyone would like me to provide a setup
for their location to get them started, or review their setups, or participate
in a study in anyway I would be happy to do so for FREE!
The brains behind the outfit ...and goto mule skinner Dave (he
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