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About StormPredator
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Our Support Policy

We provide online help, FAQs, and other resources to help you use SP to its full capacity. SP has been widely tested, and will work on most PC systems that have an Internet connection.

However, invariably, as with any software, problems can arise. We will do our best to support and provide solutions to problems by email, but we do not offer telephone support (except to users of SP professional, or those purchasing a site license to SP).

If you encounter a bug that is repeatable, or have an idea to improve the program we'd like to know! Please use our "submit a support request" link below. Please be sure to document as much as you can, including the Operating System version, what hardware, CPU, memory, and video card is in your PC.

What we will support via email:

  • Bugs
  • Error messages
  • Installation failures
  • Other issues that cause SP to fail or to interfere with other programs

What we WON'T support:

  • Issues with connecting to your Internet connection/ISP, ESPECIALLY WITH America Online Users and Compuserve Users (Which we don't consider fully standards compliant Internet Service Providers)
  • Issues with fixing or repairing your PC

Click for current USA Doppler Image
Current National
(click for large image)

Would you like LIVE WEATHER content on your website? See:

for details



UPDATE: 4/23/18 There is a new server setup to handle the inline forecast of StormPredator. To make forecasts work again, you'll need to edit an .ini file.
See the instructions here
StormPredator Tech Support


If you are getting a screen that says in red "radar image temporarily unavailable" or remains black please note that NWS/NOAA has made a change to the source image websites, and this requires you to make a simple change in your StormPredator settings to get the correct images.

1. Run StormPredator
2. Click on the "Locations" button
3. Change the "Current Server" dropdown selector box in the lower right hand corner so that it displays as shown below:

4. Click "OK" and exit and restart StormPredator.

Current Release Version is: 3.6 dated 1/17/2011

VISIT OUR SUPPORT FORUM (Primarily support is provided by other users)

Check the Software Status: See our list of releases, bug fixes and known issues with SP

Participate in our Support Forum - Interact with other SP Users here

We now have a page for GPS tracking information

Submit a support question below

StormPredator relies on radar imagery from the National Weather Service NEXRAD network.

If you are encountering late or missing radar images, or cannot contact the radar site, it may be that the NWS radar location is delayed offline- check status map below.
shows the status of every radar location in the USA, will show you why some radars may be behind schedule in updating images. Status map is updated every 3 minutes.

Click for The OLD VERSION of the NWS National NEXRAD Status



Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)

Wondering about something? Chances are the problem has been addressed before.
See our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's) to see if your question is answered there.

Storm Predator System Requirements:

2.0 GHz or faster Pentium 4 processor or equivalent
1024 MB RAM (2GB or more is better)
DirectX 9.0b compatible video card
Monitor capable of displaying 1024x768 with 24/32bits of color
Broadband Internet connection
Windows, 2000, XP Pro or Home, or Windows Media Center Edition

Windows Vista is now fully supported
Windows 7 has been tested and is fully supported

Version Information

New Features in Version 3.6 released 01/17/11:

New Features:
The user may select the maximum number of history images to download and display. The default (and maximum) is 24 and the minimum is 2.
The program's communications library has been updated to a newer version to allow authenticated proxy connections. The Display Options dialog now has a button that invokes a proxy configuration dialog that allows users to specify a user name and password for proxy server connections.
Bug Fixes:
Customers using wireless internet connections reported program crashes. We've worked with several wireless provider representatives and changed communications parameters to improve robustness.
Recent changes and instabilities in the NWS mirror server hierarchy exposed some weaknesses in the communications archival procedures and those have been revamped for reliability.
The Beam Settings were ignored in full screen mode under certain conditions.
On some XP platforms, the program would cause desktop icons to be re-arranged.
The Thresholds dialog was taking an unreasonably long time to close or apply changes.

New Features in Version 3.5 released 04/14/10:

New Features:
GPS Support - the program supports any GPS unit that connects to a PC via USB or serial port, and conforms to NMEA data standards (that includes virtually all modern GPS units). The program displays a user-selectable icon marker at the GPS unit's reported location.
Changes to Existing Features:
The text of mobile device/pager alert messages is customizable, just as the email messages are.
The user may edit the standard message template ("pager_template.txt") to customize the alert message.
Bug Fixes:
If the beam was set to one-revolution mode, it would revolve continuously when triggered if the program is in full-screen mode.
The Save History feature could crash under some conditions.
Full Screen mode: exiting that mode could cause the desktop background to remain as the radar image.
Full Screen mode: Vista and Windows 7 platforms would lose the input focus in full screen mode (no response to keyboard or mouse until it is clicked on the display).

New Features in Version 3.4 released 10/26/09:

New Features:
Now fully supports Windows 7, with major improvements for Vista support also. SP now installs and works well on either operating system
Support for Animated GIF files have been added to the Automatic Web Publishing feature
The text of email alerts is customizable:
  • The email body text is free-form and may consist of up to 65536 (64Kb) characters.
  • When the user presses the Change button in the Email Options dialog, the program begins editing a template file.
  • That template (named <program_data_storage_folder>\data\database\email_template.txt) may optionally contain any of the following tags that will be replaced with values from the program when email is sent:

    $TIME -- the current time
    $DATE -- the current date
    $ID -- the radar site METAR identifier
    $CITY -- the radar site primary city
    $STATE -- the radar site state abbreviation
    $VCP -- the current Volume Coverage Pattern (VCP) that the site is operating in
    $THRESH -- the precipitation threshold setting in dbZ designation
    $VIPTHRESH -- the threshold setting in VIP designation
    $DBMAX -- the maximum detected precipitation level in dbZ designation
    $VIPMAX -- the maximum detected precipitation level in VIP designation
    $SENS -- the current threshold sensitivity setting
    $PROD -- the currently selected radar product
    $DESC -- a text description of the maximum detected precipitation level

    When an alert occurs or the Test button is pressed in the Email Options dialog, the template file is read and any replacements are made, and the result is stored in <program_data_storage_folder>\data\database\email_ body.txt and that file is used as the email text.

    The inclusion of images is not affected by this operation. The text of pager/mobile device messages is not affected by this change, that text is currently not customizable.
The installer preserves configuration settings. The installer attempts to read any existing configuration file and preserve the settings.In most cases the user no longer needs to enter the serial number, user name, and email during the installation.
Settings made in the program that have been saved in the configuration file are merged with the updated configuration file. In addition, the installer correctly sets user permissions on the data storage folders.
Changes to Existing Features:
The scan zone popup alert window may be optionally disabled. This is independent of the audio alerts and email/pager messages, which are also optional. All of these alert indicators may be enabled/disabled in any combination. The options are set in the Display Options dialog.
The user may double-click on a site entry in the Location dialog to select a site.
The inclusion of the scan zone and/or markers in published imagery is optional.
In the Publisher Options dialog, the user can check boxes to include or exclude scan zones and/or markers in published images.
Optional delay value for animated GIF files.
The user may select a value in seconds that the animation will pause at the end of each loop.
Selecting 0 (no delay) means that the last frame of the animation will pause for the same amount of time as the rest of the frames. The option is selected in the Publisher Options dialog.
In previous versions, the user was restricted to testing either email or pager/mobile device functions, one at a time. That's been changed to allow either type or both simultaneously.
The mail functions have been completely revised. Please see this post in the General Discussion area of our user support forum for more details:
Added support for VCP 211, something that was belatedly implemented by NWS/NOAA. Thanks to PaulC for actually finding a radar site that was in that mode.
The scan zone popup dialog now displays values in dbZ designation vs. VIP levels. The VIP designations have been obsolete for many years, but are included in many radar programs (including StormPredator). This display had been using VIP levels exclusively, contrary to the more popular dbZ values.
Added support for HTML email templates as well as text templates. This allows users to send "pretty" messages that include backgrounds, logos, custom fonts and colors, etc. Details for enabling and sending HTML mail can be found in here:
New palettes added. New palettes are available for mixed precipitation, winter storm conditions, and an interesting cloud cover simulation. Many thanks to PaulC for creating these palettes and allowing us to incorporate them into the product.
Bug Fixes:
Numerous internal memory allocation and structure robustness fixes.
The Replay History feature would display the VCR-type control incorrectly.
The installer would fail to set permissions correctly on the program's data storage folder.
Many thanks to community members PaulC, jayman228, ddobson, sdstormchase (and all the members of the Extreme Weather Chase Team).

New Features in Version 3.3 released 06/09/09:

New Features:
The NWS Legend image is now a selectable layer in the main display. Enable/disable the legend overlay in the Layers or Location dialog boxes. If the currently selected product is one of the reflectivity products (Short or Long Range Base Reflectivity or Composite Reflectivity) the legend keys are translated to the currently selected custom or stock signal strength colors.
The user can now elect to save images in GIF format (in addition to JPG and PNG).
The program will optionally automatically publish images to a web site or local folder/mapped drive. Select options for publication by pressing ALT-G. The program will publish images in JPG, PNG, GIF, or Animated GIF formats.
We've added a radar server selection drop-down selector in the Location dialog. The server list is stored in <program data location>\StormPredator\data\database\servers.ini. Currently, there are three servers available:
  • - server no longer online

The SRH server is the default server, select another at any time, if you wish.
Changes to Existing Features:
Passwords are stored in encrypted form. The encryption is fairly trivial and not secure, it is meant only to keep casual prying eyes from harvesting passwords.
The installer has been revised so that many of the program elements are optionally installed.
Files in the optional packages only overwrite existing files if the file in the installer is newer than the one it is replacing.
The installer also examines the target machine's operating system to determine if the Microsoft Foundation Classes (MFC) runtime library is up to date.
If the MFC environment is out of date, the installer informs the user and optionally runs the Microsoft installer for MFC.
Bug Fixes:
The program could ignore user settings for the duration of audio alerts. Fixed.

New Features in Version 3.26

New Features:
Better compatibility with Windows Vista and Windows 7
There are two new menu items in Mini window mode, to allow the user to start or stop the loop via a menu. The loop can (as always) also be started and stopped with ALT-L in any window mode.
The communications library has been replaced and updated with a more robust one to handle a wider variety of network situations.
The default NWS server is changed to the SRH (Southern Region) Ridge server, the server(s) have synchronization issues
The user options file is now stored in uncompressed text files. This allows the user to set or change options in the file rather than through the program, if desired.
The site options file, containing data particular to each radar site, is also uncompressed. This is a comma-delimited text file, and is meant to be imported into a spreadsheet program if editing is necessary.
The "data" folder and all of its subfolders has been moved to the Common Application Data folder (that destination is different for each Windows version). Along with some of the other changes above, this alleviates the need for the program to be run with Administrator privileges.
Changes to Existing Features:
The location of the data is now different for each flavor of OS. The program now stores data in the operating system's Application Common Data folder. This is different than the per-user application common data folder and the location varies by OS and version. StormPredator queries the operating system for the location of the Application Common Data folder.
Bug Fixes:
The program would sometimes (actually, frequently) fail to connect to the NWS server.
The loop would not resume when the display mode was changed.
Deleted markers and scan zones could be restored when the program was restarted.
The default "Radar Site Unavailable" image would trigger an alert if the text of the message fell into a scan zone. The colors for that image have been changed.
When changing from Mini window mode to Full Screen mode, then restoring to Normal mode would cause the program to restore to Oval mode with a collapsed options panel. The default now is to restore to Rectangular mode with an expanded options panel.
The audio alert could get interrupted or sound off continuously, ignoring the user setting for that feature.

New Features in Version 3.25

New Features:
Windows Vista is fully supported, but you must allow the program to "run as administrator" which is a simple right click on the icon after installation. See the details here in our support forum:
User options are saved automatically when the program is closed. All program options are saved. When a (future) new version is installed, it will check for the existence of the saved files, loading all of the user-selected options into the new version. In addition to the user options, all markers, scan zones, customized site zip codes, palettes, and window positions are saved as well.

NOTE: If you intend to uninstall your current version, take care to avoid telling the uninstaller to remove all saved files. That will ensure that the saved files can be restored when the new version is installed. Also, of course, install to the same location as the previous version.
Added custom Warning Polygon Colors.
Changes to Existing Features:
Added ability to skip selected frames during loops.
Added a "hide" option on the loop controller. When the hide button is pressed, the loop continues but the control is simply hidden. Pressing the Loop button or ALT-L will re-display the control. Pressing Loop or ALT-L again will start the loop (or stop it if it is running).
New context menu in Mini Mode (added Restore, Minimize, and Exit functions)
Bug Fixes:
The program would sometimes fail to recover from an "Radar Not Available" condition. Thank you to tmabell for helping to isolate this.
Closing the loop control with the X button would prevent it from being re-displayed when the Loop button is pressed on some platforms. We've added a Hide button to the control. See the "Changes to Existing Features" section above for more information.
The color key would sometimes be displayed when switching window modes regardless of the "Show color key at startup" setting.
The program didn't remember its previous window mode correctly when the mode was switched and restored (i.e. Oval to Mini restores to Rect mode).

New Features in Version 3.24

New Features:
Alternate/backup server detection improves reliability of NWS supplied data. The program automatically detects an "Radar Not Available" condition and will attempt to contact an alternate image server if the primary server delivers an invalid image or if the primary server cannot be contacted.
The user may now select the startup display mode for the program (Rectangular, Oval, Mini or Full Screen window mode)
Looping is enabled in Mini Window mode. You may start and stop the loop in Mini window mode by pressing ALT-L.
Changes to Existing Features:
The program display setting "Show color key at startup" is unchecked on first run. Of course the setting may be changed at any time.
Pressing the "X" button in the Loop Control hides the loop control, and does not stop the loop.
The Mini window is started in collapsed mode. As always, pressing the Space bar toggles the options panel in Mini, Rectangular, and Oval window modes.
Bug Fixes:
The program would sometimes fail to recover from an "Radar Not Available" condition.
The Location entry for Bryan, TX was misspelled
There was a stutter in SE corner of the radar beam in full screen mode, fixed.
The last radar beam state was sometime lost at startup, fixed.

New Features in Version 3.22

New Features:
The Tracker icon image is now user-modifiable. This is a manual process and simply involves editing the PNG image file for the tracker.
The image is stored in the Data/Masks folder and is named tracker_icon.png. The image must be any single color on a black background. The color will be translated by the program to the current Distance Tool color (see the help file Color Options for more details). Image sizes larger than 64x64 have not been tested and are not recommended.
Bug Fixes:
The VCP interpreter has been fixed and updated with new VCPs 212 and 221
Updated the Warnings legend dialog for new NWS colors and added an "Extreme Wind" warning legend.
Fixed a bug where the program would not re-initialize properly when an unavailable site was detected. This manifested itself by showing a "Radar unavailable" message even when the site was changed.

New Features in Version 3.21

Bug Fixes:
Tracking windows would display the wrong image (a white background radar image) when the Composite Layers option is enabled.
Scan zone alerts didn't work correctly due to a coordinate system error.
The precipitation level description popup (right-clicking on a cell to get its intensity) didn't work correctly.
The skin file selection was not preserved when the program was updated, resulting in a "Can't get header info for image file" message

New Features in Version 3.20

New Features:
Composite Layer mode. When the Composite Layers box is checked in the Location or Layers dialogs, the program will, when each image is published or processed, assemble the other checked layers into a single image. This is basically an attempt to improve the rotating beam performance on lower-end machines. When the program is in Composite Layer mode, changing layers will trigger re-scan (not a re-fetch) of images just as changing the colors does. The user selects Composite Layer mode by checking the box in the Layers or Locations dialogs.
Proxy support. Support for Internet proxy servers is implemented. The user may specify a proxy server by domain name or IP address, and also may specify the communications port for the server. The proxy information may be entered in the Display Options dialog.
Radar image smoothing. We've re-added image smoothing. This is classic blur-type smoothing, and is in addition to the contour smoothing feature. The blurring effect can be controlled with a slider bar in the Display Options dialog.
Adjustable loop delay. The amount of delay at the end of a loop is adjustable. The delay is set in the Display Options dialog and has a range from None (no delay), to Max (max delay).
Changes to Existing Features:
The Warnings maps are now served by the NWS instead of the IntelliWeather server. This provides faster updates.
The lightning imagery feature has been removed as the supplier of lightning data (NLDN) raised prices beyond which we could afford.
Bug Fixes:
Entering a comma (",") in some fields of dialogs in the program would cause a database error.

New Features in Version 3.12

New Features:
Added new URL's to internal database to reference the NWS "universal" web server which has failover and load balance features to improve chances that SP won't go down when problems happen with regional NWS servers (particularly the Southern Region HQ.)
Added alerting feature to advise users of the program with a popup window if there are any operational issue with the program or with the NWS data feeds that serve it. User can disable the popup window if desired.
New Features in Version 3.11
Bug Fixes:
The program registration would fail when a machine was moved from one network interface to another (wired vs. wireless, docked vs. undocked, etc.). Two independent network interfaces on the same machine are now supported.
The program would begin collecting history images when the location was changed, even if the setting for automatically loading history images was unchecked.
A custom alert sound file path would not persist between invocations of the program, it would revert to the default setting.

New Features in Version 3.10

New Features:
Lightning strike image overlay is implemented. - function no longer available
Radar Echo Contour Smoothing is implemented. The radar echo layer can be smoothed with a contour shaper. This displays a contoured radar echo similar to what has been in use in some TV Weather radar systems.
Palette file Save and Load features are implemented. The user may save the current color scheme to a specified file, and load other schemes or themes.
Automatic program update notification. The program now detects when a new version is available and informs the user via a popup dialog
Changes to Existing Features:
The Location dialog has been overhauled to allow easier radar site selection. The sites are now listed in a window that has columns. The user may sort the list by any column by simply clicking on the column header in that window.
Ground clutter filter changed. Before the advent of RIDGE, the NWS images would display ground clutter as high range reflections. Now, with the addition of new VCPs, ground clutter is displayed (more correctly) as low range reflections. The Display Options filter feature now allows the user to filter out reflections at 0 dbZ and less in Clear Air modes and, optionally, in all modes.
Bug Fixes:
Pager port setting would not get saved.
Pager image size did not get saved.
Some precipitation levels were reported incorrectly in alert messages.
Color changes to pure black were not transparent in the main display.
There were some typos in the precipitation level reports (commas where periods should be).
Changing button or skin color could crash the program in the download version.
The initial placement of the main window was calculated incorrectly and the window could be off-center on initial startup.
The program now resumes looping if it was interrupted for a rescan.
The Save Image function no longer appends extraneous extensions when a file is selected to be overwritten.
The distance tool calculation is fixed for long range radar products.
The ETA tool has been corrected. It is more accurate now.
Replaying history when the save image format was set to JPG didn't work.
Added a delay at the end of the replay sequence.
VCPs 31 and 32 could be reported as 11 or 12, respectively, in some cases.
Longitude was offset in the marker placement feature for some maps.
Loop could "zoom" forward after a file fetch.
Markers and scan zones could be displayed prematurely when starting up or switching sites.
Status messages have been expanded to indicate data fetching from the Internet vs. reading from local disk, and to indicate image processing.

New Features in Version 3.03

New Features:
Added new buttons for Minimize, and Layers
Added a Latitude/Longitude marker placement dialog. Press ALT-N to invoke the dialog.
Changes to Existing Features:
Revised the button panel layout for new buttons.
Changed the default marker to a green flag.
Changed the default loop speed to a midrange speed to allow better startup on slow machines.
Bug Fixes:
Fixed the Analyze tool not functioning on images that were paused in a loop.
Fixed the program crashing when a scan zone was loaded on some platforms.
Fixed the custom overlay dialog inverting image colors, and included a fixed set of range ring overlays.
Fixed minor alignment problems with buttons and text in some dialogs.

New Features in Version 3.02

New Features:
The beam center location is now adjustble. Invoke the special radome marker with ALT-R. Move the marker using ALT-left-click-and-drag, the beam will now emanate from the center of the marker. Reset to default location by deleting data\zones\radome.mrk
Changes to Existing Features:
The tracker plot icons are all visible in the main window. As you place each icon, it will become visible on the main screen regardless of which thumbnail is active. The active icon will be displayed in the distance tool color, and the inactive icons will be displayed in a gamma-reduced version of the distance tool color.
The text of email and pager/cell phone messages now includes the maximum dbZ level detected in the scan zone, as well as the user's selected threshold.
Bug Fixes:
Fixed a message queue overflow error. This is the root cause of all of the programs crashes and unexplained exits.
Fixed a text error where the email and pager messages would report incorrect dbZ values.
Fixed a few typographic errors in various dialogs
Fixed the short range scan zone showing up on long range products.
Fixed an initialization error that would cause a Windows exception if the Analyze tool was invoked before an image was displayed.
Fixed distance calculation in long range products
Fixed email/cell phone SMTP port defaulting to 25 after change to something else
Fixed the ground clutter filter, its function was inverted, turning pixels to white instead of black to make them disappear

New Features in Version 3.01

New Features:
Added a Radome icon to the standard markers, and also a special Radome marker for the radar site location (ALT-R toggles this on and off).
Added range ring overlays to the cdrom version. Short range only.
Added brightness-adjusted topographic map sets to the cdrom version.
Added psuedo-greyscale and monotone (brown) topographic map sets to the cdrom version.
Bug Fixes:
Fixed a bug where the Analyze tool was examining a smoothed image vs. a pre-smoothed image.
Fixed a typo in the Legends dialogs.
Fixed the long range distance and latitude/longitude tools.
Fixed the custom overlays, they are now site- and range-specific (two overlays per site, a long and a short range custom overlay).
Fixed: The Tracker would sometimes report odd ETAs
Fixed: The Tracker dialog displayed incorrect images in the thumbnail view
Fixed: The Tracker dialog would flash unnecessarily
Fixed: The Tracker dialog would not update the main display correctly
Fixed: The Save Image function would report no images to save
Fixed: The Print Image function could crash on XP platforms
Fixed: The Alert Delay timer would only send one alert
Fixed: The distance tool and the latitude/longitude displays were incorrect
Fixed: The analyze feature would report incorrect values
Fixed: There was no convenient way to get the program version
Fixed: The program could crash on entry or exit due to un-initialized variables
Fixed: There was no visible indicator that the flash was on or off