WeatherTAP.com is a subsidiary of TAP Publishing Co. based in Crossville, TN. TAP Publishing provides seven different publications, the flagship being Trade-A-Plane, a buy/sell publication for aviation, from which the name TAP was derived. WeatherTAP.com was created to provide weather data for commercial and private pilots; it is web-based and requires a subscription. Today, weatherTAP has expanded its product offerings to serve a wide variety of industries outside of aviation.
WeatherTAP.com was the first web-only product that TAP Publishing provided. The weatherTAP concept originated from a relationship between TAP Publishing and a publishing software maker Harris Corporation. Harris, a large international corporation, had many divisions, including a weather division that provided real-time weather data to the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The data was transmitted via a proprietary satellite link received by special interactive terminals at FAA ARTCC centers. Knowing that TAP had web development experience, as well as direct access to the aviation market, TAP and Harris Corp. began initial discussions of how to commercialize the Harris FAA data stream in the summer of 1997. Government contractor Unisys was brought into the partnership under contract to supply raw radar data under the now obsolete NIDS system. On July 26, 1998, weatherTAP.com was opened to the public and began serving out radar and satellite images, as well as aviation-related charts and text data. Soon contracts were signed with other data collectors, allowing new data types such as,lightning strike data, to be added to the weatherTAP product suite.
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No more weather surprises with WeatherTAP, the fastest weather on the web. With weatherTAP, you get the quickest, most current NEXRAD radar and a complete aviation weather package. There's detailed lightning data as well as high-resolution East (GOES-12) and West (GOES-10) satellite images. Plus, you get up-to-date forecasts, surface data, and colorized, animated maps: local, state, regional, and national coverage. Over 10,000 graphic products.
WeatherTAP continually monitors their data streams, processes images and makes them available online within seconds. No delays. No old images with new time stamps. With a WeatherTAP subscription you get the quickest, most current, accurate radar and weather available.
There is no such thing as "free" weather data. There are other sites on the internet that are either supported by advertising or receive government funding. Many users find that the "free" sites meet their needs and are willing to live with annoying ads and limited availability during peak times. Other users, however, find that the quality of product, absence of ads, and certainty of availability, even during peak times, to be worth the modest subscription price. WeatherTAP presents big, bold, screen-filling graphics unencumbered by advertising, at lightning speeds. Since only subscribers can access the service, the number of users is constrained, limiting the maximum load placed on the servers and thus protecting the service from being overloaded, even during peak times such as hurricane landfalls. This means that in times of crisis, while others struggle to get data from ad-supported and government sites, WeatherTAP users enjoy fast response and peace of mind. In addition, the breadth and depth of data available on WeatherTAP far exceeds that of most other sites.
Other weather sites typically review their radar and satellite sources at periodic, fixed intervals (usually 20 or more minutes). Images are commonly copied and stamped with new times whether they are actually updated or not. Not so with WeatherTAP.
WeatherTAP updates its images every six minutes (the time it takes a NEXRAD radar antenna to make a complete sweep of the sky). By constantly monitoring, WeatherTAP has a distinctly-unique advantage over its competitors. We can immediately detect updates as they occur. The new images are downloaded, processed, and made available on the web within a matter of seconds.
The bottom line? The most current weather, faster. WeatherTAP is the closest thing to real-time weather on the Internet, which makes it well worth the nominal cost, only $7.95 per month! Subscribe for a year at $83.95 and SAVE MORE THAN 10% off the monthly price! Either way, it's just pennies a day.
WeatherTAP is divided into six major components: Forecast, Radar, Satellite, Lightning, Aviation, and Severe Weather.
From a national map, Forecast allows you to select a state then a local area for current conditions, current and extended zone forecasts, plus any weather alerts. You can also view selected radar sites in the area, as well as state and regional radar. In addition, there are satellite images, plus regional surface data.
In the Radar section, you can view the colorized national, regional and state radar maps, and any of approximately 144 local radar maps. You can even see radar for Canada: nation, regional, and provincial. Animated maps include a loop of eight distinctive images that cover periods from about one to four hours. There's even a Radar Tutorial!
In the Satellite section, you can view high-resolution regional and national satellite images from both the GOES-12 (East) and GOES-10 (West) weather satellites. Included are animated map and satellite views, plus a Satellite Imagery Tutorial.
Lightning includes national and regional maps, for all of North America, showing the location of lightning strikes which have occurred. The maps are animated and the strikes are color-coded by age, from 12 to 110 minutes.
Aviation Weather features a variety of color-enhanced weather graphics with decoding guides. Included is a series of images under NWS Data Plots, Composite Moisture Stability, Observed Winds and Temps, Surface Prognosis and Live Data. Also featured is a full suite of printable text products, plus a customized Route Briefing section. There is also a QICP-certified Aviation weather site.