National Weather Service Releases Radar Loops for Google Earth

National Weather Service/NOAA Radar Loops in Google EarthThe National Weather Service (NWS) has released experimental radar imagery which takes advantage of Google Earth 4’s new time animation feature to show animated data. This means you can see the last hour’s worth of radar images animated over Google Earth. Right now, you have to select which city you want to see (hopefully they will add a map interface to make the selection process easier). To use this (you must have the latest Google Earth 4 installed), go to the new experimental NWS RIDGE Loops in KML page, and choose the location in the US you are interested in viewing from the drop down menu. I selected “Louisiana->New Orleans” in the example shown. Then I selected “Composite Reflectivity“. Click on “Submit” and you will get a KML file loaded in Google Earth. The time slider gadget should appear in the upper center of GE’s main window. Make the slider range real big to load all the images, then make the gadget smaller. Next, select the “Play” button (a little right arrown/triangle on the right edge of the time gadget). This will animate the radar for you. You can also click and drag the middle of the slider back and forth.
The NWS released a wider range of KML files for radar and other data (without the animation feature) on this page a few months ago. They also have supported a very nice US-wide radar and warning guide by the Severe Storms Lab. Check it out the US-wide radar example here (be patient, it’s a fairly large overlay).
Thanks to Tim at the NWS for telling me about the new service. Also mentioned at OgleEarth.

About Frank Taylor

Frank Taylor started the Google Earth Blog in July, 2005 shortly after Google Earth was first released. He has worked with 3D computer graphics and VR for many years and was very impressed with this exciting product. Frank completed a 5.5 year circumnavigation of the earth by sailboat in June 2015 which you can read about at Tahina Expedition, and is a licensed pilot, backpacker, diver, and photographer.


  1. How do I either, uninstall NOAA Weather overlay or toggle it on and off.
    It interferes, obscures the ground area quite often.
    Thanks Kelsey

  2. STAN BULLARD says:

    How do I either, uninstall NOAA Weather overlay or toggle it on and off?

  3. robert belz says:

    How can I review a radar loop from a specific day and time?

  4. Thank you for sharing this. This is very helpful to everybody who is into using google earth. Thank you again for this article.
    national weather service

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