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Columbia South Carolina


Point and Click Forecast Map Changes

Originally created by NWS Binghamton, NY

The point and click forecast map has been changed to include a Google Map interface.

The map has controls to move east, west, north and south by clicking on the arrows. You can also click and hold the left mouse button to move the map with your mouse.

Clicking on the + or - will zoom in or out respectively.

When the point and click forecast page is displayed, the forecast text and icons correspond to the red square or forecast area. The image in figure 1 shows a 5x5 kilometer (3.5x3.5 mile) grid box of forecast data used to produce the forecast text and icons. Clicking anywhere within the red square will not change the forecast text/icons or the display on the map. So every location with the red square or forecast area has the same forecast. Clicking outside the square will produced a new forecast page within another grid box.

Below shows a segment of the forecast page for the downtown Columbia area.

Figure 1.

Figure 2 shows the forecast area or grid box just to the north of the image above. Note the small changes that occur from one forecast area to the next.

Figure 2.

Just below the map is an icon for the KML, or Keyhole Markup Language, file. This is used by Google Earth to display information. Once clicked on, your browser should ask if you would like to either display the file through Google Earth or save the file for later use. Allowing it to be displayed in Google Earth should look something like figure 3.

Figure 3.

When first displayed in Google Earth the forecast text will not appear. The program will fly to the location and display the forecast area or red square.

On the left side of program there will be a selection under the Temporary Places called NWS_Digital_Forecast.kml. This could possibly have a number at the end as well.

Click on the + sign just to the left of the label NWS_Digital_Forecast and this will display two more entries, NWS Forecast and NOAA/NWS Logos.

Click on the + sign to the left of NWS Forecast. This will show a hot link for the forecast with the first period of the forecast shown just below the link. Click on the link (blue arrow points to this) and the entire forecast text will appear in a box over the forecast area or red square shown on the map.

Lastly, the forecast can be saved to the My Places area of Google Earth. This can be done by right clicking and holding the mouse button down on the KML forecast in the Temporary Places area, and dragging it to the My Places area in Google Earth (shown by the red arrow). This will allow you to view the forecast for that area anytime you are in Google Earth and the forecast will be the latest. You can save multiple forecasts in the My Places as shown in figure 4.

Figure 4.


Data distribution via the Internet is not considered an operational delivery mechanism by the NWS due to our inability to ensure access to this service, therefore, the information available here shall not be used for flight planning or other operational purposes. Please see our additional disclaimer.

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Weather Forecast Office Columbia
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 West Columbia, S.C. 29170-2102
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