*** 20th Anniversary: 2003 to 2023 ***
by D.T. Moffatt
(Grant Park IL. USA)
If you want to see real time weather reports go down to the Tampa Fl. area. They show up to the minute imageing that shows rotation of tornados coming in from the gulf and everything.
Why - in most other areas - do they think we want to see radar images from 3 hours ago?
Barry's Response - Good point. up to the minute weather details are more important in some areas than in others.
A newer radar technology, called the phased-array radar, provides meteorologists with a greater temporal resolution in radar imaging. It plays a role of great importance in severe weather, where changes can occur quite suddenly and catch observers by surprise if they are using conventional equipment.
Generally, this technology can use a series of antennae, the phases of reflected signals and some fancy algorithms and software to detect patterns in the data that would not be evident otherwise. The physics of constructive and destructive interference within an area of competing wave signals comes into play here.
In weather, this idea is used for research as much as operational meteorology and is closer to the "cutting edge" than older radar sets. The National Severe Storms Laboratory has used these extensively for projects in tornado alley. Each year we know more and more about the behaviour of tornadoes and our ability to predict their motions and development.
It's money well spent.
Search this site for more radar information now.
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