Tracking the weather with Google Earth

With severe storms again rolling across the central US, I thought it’d be a good time to revisit the ways that Google Earth can help you track the weather.

Google Earth has a variety of built-in layers that give you some amazing ways to view the current weather around the world. Simply by turning on the [Clouds] and [Radar] layers inside of the main [Weather] layer, you can get a great look at clouds and precipitation around the world.


If you dive below the clouds you’ll find a few nice touches. First, the clouds/radar are not on the surface of the earth, but up an an elevation of approximately 35 miles. Also, if you fly under an area that is currently raining or snowing (and you have an adequate video card) you’l actually see animated rain/snow on your screen.


You can also use the weather layer to help track hurricanes, as we showed you in the past with storms such as Hurricane Isaac.

Finally, for those that wish to dig a little deeper, we have our popular collection of weather tools that give you a variety of other weather-related data to explore.

weather tools

About Mickey Mellen

Mickey has been using Google Earth since it was released in 2005, and has created a variety of geo-related sites including Google Earth Hacks. He runs a web design firm in Marietta, GA, where he lives with his wife and two kids.


  1. Cannot download on Windows 8.1 tablet. Tried several times. Not happy.

  2. For numerical weather prediction (NWP) model layers that can be animated in Google Earth, along with a North-American weather radar mosaic, you might be interested in Environment Canada’s GeoMet kml:

    Cheers — Alex

  3. Matt Swinden says:

    Too bad there is a glitch with the current weather, as Google Earth Weather has not updated in May 28th.

  4. Google Earth is an excellent product, but unfortunately the Weather Update seems to be stuck on 28 May 2015 1800. Anybody have any ideas why.

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