Introduction: CAUTION! When this map is in "Full Page" mode the alerts for Hawaii and Alaska do not line up correctly. They only render correctly when the map is not in Full Page mode.
You can set up this map in anyway you want, except for the base map you need to hand click. Set up all the opacity settings to your liking. Then set up your checks to either checked or unchecked for each item. NOW CLICK ON THE "Set" BUTTON. The next time you load up the page it will be to your personal settings.
Near the upper right of the map is the blue Home button. Clicking this button will return you to the default map position, coordinates and zoom level when you would like to reset the map to the original position.
The Drop Down Menu:
The top, side bar, drop down menu (US-Canada Radar) has all of the pre-set United States lower 48 Regional locations as well as Alaska, Canada, Australia, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands and Guam.
Folding up the Side Bar:
The side bar contents can be completely folded up. Simply single click the text saying "Map Layer Options" and "Wx Observations" and the contents beneath them will fold up and hide.
Radar viewing options:
Put a check mark next to Radar (Mosaic) to view the very latest radar image. Put a check next to both "Radar (Mosaic)" and "Animate Radar" in order to view radar animation. The more zoomed in you are, the faster the radar will render.
The category of "Weather Alerts" will give you the current NOAA Weather Alerts. Putting a check next to "Severe Wx Alerts" will give you the Short-Duration Storm-Based warnings, watches and alerts. "NWS Alerts" are for the current NWS Warnings.
You can choose from "Infrared Satellite" and "Visible Satellite". Both of these world satellite views are animated with the Visible Satellite available only during daylight hours.
The "Wind Barbs & Temps" gives the name of the station, the current temperature, wind direction and wind speed for each location.
Trop Storm Tracks:
When "Trop Storm Tracks" is selected a graphical storm track and cone of track possibilities will show on the map when a tropical storm is present.
There are 4 options for "Station Markers", plus 3 general qualifiers. The Station Data can be the Temperature, Precipitation, Wind or Wind Gusts. The 3 qualifiers are elevation related. You can show the markers for all elevations, or show only elevations above 500 feet, or 1000 feet.
To see the Graphical Google Traffic layer you must be zoomed to at least zoom level 5 or more.
Set Layer Opacity:
The drop down menu directly under "Set Layer Opacity" will set the desired opacity (lightness/darkness) for each separate layer.
If after you have all your preferred settings set, you can save these settings by clicking on "Set". To unset your preferences click on "Clear".
Click map to view:
Set the drop down menu directly under "Click map to view" to either "Forecast", "Warnings" or "Zones" and then click an area on the map. If you have it set to Warnings and then click on a colored warning area, the text for the warning will be displayed. Set it to Forecast and click on a US area you want the forecast for and the forecast page for that area will pop up. For Zones, click on a map area to display the NOAA zone it is in.
The magnifying glass icon is located directly under the main map controls. Use it for draw an area on the map to zoom into. Click on the magnifying glass and it turns into cross hairs, then hold down a left click over the map area you want to zoom into.