Rain radar, history & background information

Buienradar is one of the most successful sites in the Netherlands. It provides short and longer term weather forecasts and, among other things, international weather forecasts. You can literally see the showers passing over our country and the expected precipitation. Normally, Buienradar has several million visitors per day, but in the event of a weather alarm or extreme weather conditions, it will reach several tens of millions per day. About the history, founder and operation of the Buienradar.

Rain radar, one of the most visited sites in the Netherlands

Although Buienradar was originally based on American principles, it is now as Dutch as can be, one of the most visited sites in the Netherlands. For any outdoor activity, whether it is a barbecue, a sports match, or the trip home after work: the Rain Radar is always consulted en masse to see which weather conditions should be taken into account.

Founder Edwin Rijkaart about the history of Buienradar

At the beginning of 2006, Edwin Rijkaart van Cappellen, together with his two brothers Stefan and Wijnand, started preparing for Buienradar. The site went online on April 30, 2006. The original intention was to start on May 1, but given the bad weather forecast for Queen’s Day, this was brought forward one day in view of the expected extra publicity.

In an interview with Techbussines, Rijkaart van Cappellen said that the idea for the Buienradar was born in America and lay dormant for a period. He came there regularly at the time to visit his brother, who was studying in Chicago. He saw the rain radar on TV there and saw its possibilities for the Netherlands. In the interview he said: “The weather in the US is more extreme than in the Netherlands, but we immediately thought of starting something like this here too.”

Start-up capital obtained from Beurs.nl proceeds

In the United States, weather data was made available to the weather services for free, unlike here.
The costs for the desired information would be approximately 200,000 per year, which Rijkaart thought was too much, given the fact that the site would have to be funded by revenue from advertising on the Buienradar. However,

Edwin Rijkaart was also the owner of Beurs.nl, a site that provides up-to-date stock market information. It had been online since 1999. In 2006 it had such a good year that it was decided to invest the money earned in the Buienradar and put it on the market.
Beurs.nl was sold to Reed Elsevier in 2009.

Numbers of visitors to Rain Radar

At the end of September 2011, the Techbusiness site contained an article regarding the Buienradar, which stated that the site currently attracts approximately 50 million visitors per month. At peak times, for example a weather alarm or extreme weather forecasts, the number of page views per day can rise to 30 million per day.

Fat van Dale

Already two years after its founding, the word Buienradar had become so established in the Netherlands that it was included in the Dikke van Dale.

Rain radar acquired by RTL

In March 2011, Buienradar was taken over from the Rijkaart van Cappellen family by RTL.
Rijkaart van Cappellen supervised the takeover until the summer months and will remain active in the background until April 2012. However, policy decisions are already being made from Hilversum instead of in Edwin’s Arnhem home, from where he ran Buienradar.

The brothers Edwin, Stefan and Wijnand Rijkaart now focus on foreign weather sites such as the German Sat24.com and Niederschlagsradar.de, which remain independent. Germany is a country with a different type of weather and a completely different advertising market. It is also a technical challenge. We collect data from as many as sixteen radar installations
, Edwin said in an interview.

Rain radar is free

The Rain Radar was and remains free. The site runs entirely on the income from the commercial breaks and advertisements that generate money through Google Adsense.

What actually is a rain radar or weather radar?

To measure precipitation, a weather radar or rain radar, the white spherical element on top of the weather tower, is used. There are two precipitation radars in the Netherlands: in De Bilt and in Den Helder.

The maximum range of the radar is a maximum of about 300 km, further measurements are not possible due to the curvature of the earth. The weather radar emits a very frequent signal, which is partly reflected by the precipitation encountered . The more reflection, the more precipitation. In addition to this measurement, the weather radar also conducts research into the movements of precipitation in the cloud and the wind direction. All this data is mapped together and forms the red and blue spots on the well-known weather maps on the Buienradar site. The darker the colors, the more intense the rain, hail or snow showers.

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