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Radar Advancement

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WSR-57 Radar

National Weather Service WSR-57 radar image from Detroit Metro Airport, 
March 20, 1976 at 7:15 pm -- just about touchdown of West Bloomfield 
tornado. This tornado was rated an F-4 making it the last violent tornado 
to strike Southeast Michigan.

In 1959 the first "modern" radar, the WSR-57, was commissioned at the Miami hurricane forecast center. Over the next few years, this technology was installed across the country. Detroit received its WSR-57 on September 12, 1961. The WSR-57 offered some improvement over the WSR-3, but with coarse reflectivity and no velocity data available, the ability to forecast tornadoes was limited. The picture below shows the WSR-57 image of the tornado that struck West Bloomfield in Oakland County on March 20, 1976.


National Weather Service WSR-57 radar image from Detroit Metro Airport, March 20, 1976 at 7:15 pm -- just about touchdown of West Bloomfield tornado. This tornado was rated an F-4 making it the last violent tornado to strike Southeast Michigan.
Click on image to enlarge (31 kb)
 


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