It looks like the radar images you’d see your local TV meteorologist use, and that’s by design, but this new product from the FAA is called Offshore Precipitation Capability (OPC), and it shows precipitation in areas where you couldn’t see it before.
The FAA’s NextGen Outreach and Reporting group has a new video showing how the technology works and how it’s being used.
“We don’t have radar offshore, it doesn’t reach far enough into the ocean to see, so we have to come up with another method to depict where precipitation is,” said Randy Bass, a certified consulting meteorologist and manager of the FAA’s Weather Research Branch. “OPC takes the satellite data, model data and lightning data, and merges those together into a radar-like depiction.”
Bass emphasized that OPC is not an exact replacement for standard Next Generation Weather Radar (Nexrad), but it comes very close, with an accuracy greater than 90%.