The radar images you see at the various weather sites are all “smoothed.”
RAdio Detection And Ranging
Radar is a detection system that uses radio waves to determine the range, angle, or velocity of objects. It can be used to detect aircraft, ships, spacecraft, guided missiles, motor vehicles, weather formations, and terrain. A radar system consists of a transmitter producing electromagnetic waves in the radio or microwaves domain, a transmitting antenna, a receiving antenna (often the same antenna is used for transmitting and receiving) and a receiver and processor to determine properties of the object(s). Radio waves (pulsed or continuous) from the transmitter reflect off the object and return to the receiver, giving information about the object’s location and speed.That Infallible Source
That information is raw data. What you are seeing at Wunderground, Windy, and NWS, though, are not colorized raw data, but data that have been subjected to a computational filter, an algorithm. (I’ve seen it called “averaged,” but that is not a correct term, although it captures the underlying sentiment.) I thought this about a particular filter was pretty telling:
In situations where the target motion conforms well to the underlying model, there is a tendency of the Kalman filter to become “overconfident” of its own predictions and to start to ignore the radar measurements. If the target then manoeuvres, the filter will fail to follow the manoeuvre. It is therefore common practice when implementing the filter to arbitrarily increase the magnitude of the state estimate covariance matrix slightly at each update to prevent this.That Infallible Source [my emphasis]
If you want to see the information itself, you need to look at un-smoothed data.
RadarScope. It’s not free, but it’s not expensive, either. (No. I do not work for RadarScope.) One-time $9.99 for Android or iOS; $29.99 Mac or Windows.
One of the things I like about RadarScope is that you can choose the location of the radar image– the one above is from Jackson because the storms are moving SW to NE. Jackson better covers that region. You can also determine distances, draw on the screen (like they do on television!). Thirty bucks was a bit rich for my blood so I have it on my iPad.
Highly recommended as part of your Department of Redundancy Department weather plan.