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Radar Advancement

Introduction  |  WSR-3 Radar  |  WSR-57 Radar  |  WSR-88D  |  How Does Doppler Radar Work?  |  Accessing Radar Data

WSR-88D

Likely tornado indicated by NWS Northern Indiana Doppler radar 10 Nov 2002 
320 pm over Van Wert, OH. The Doppler radar image shows strong in-bound 
(bright green) winds right next to strong outbound winds (bright red) -- a 
classic tornadic signature. The ability to detect rotation in storms is 
one of the key advances in radar capability that Doppler technology brings 
to the forecasting of tornadoes.

The truly modern era in weather radar surveillance began in Detroit on June 19, 1993 when the WSR-88D began operations at the new NWS office serving Southeast Michigan from White Lake, Oakland County. The "D" in WSR-88D stands for Doppler. And it is the Doppler technology that has revolutionized weather forecasting over the last decade by allowing meteorologists to observe storm motion. As Dick Wagenmaker, Meteorologist-in-Charge at the White Lake NWS office observes, "The advent of Doppler radar allows meteorologists the ability to better detect tornadoes, especially the F4s and F5s like the West Bloomfield and Flint-Beecher tornadoes, than we could with earlier technology." The significant improvement in the WSR-88D's ability to isolate tornadic features in radar data from earlier radars is easily apparent in the image below. Here a Doppler velocity product from the NWS Northern Indiana WSR-88D captures the dramatic signature of a tornado over Van Wert County, Ohio.


Likely tornado indicated by NWS Northern Indiana Doppler radar 10 Nov 2002 320 pm over Van Wert, OH. The Doppler radar image shows strong in-bound (bright green) winds right next to strong outbound winds (bright red) -- a classic tornadic signature. The ability to detect rotation in storms is one of the key advances in radar capability that Doppler technology brings to the forecasting of tornadoes. (Flash animation loop - 1567 kb)
Click on image to enlarge (71 kb)
 


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