Radar Images Show More than Weather

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Those who regularly view National Weather Service Doppler Radar data know that sometimes the images show more than meteorological echoes. This is especially true at night when very stable atmospheric conditions near the surface can bend the radar beam down toward the ground. Such was the case during the overnight hours of July 11, 2012.  It is important to understand when these conditions are occurring so as not to be fooled into thinking these are real radar echoes, perhaps from thunderstorms.

The following image shows lots of normal ground clutter (blue hazy areas) as well as features such as wind farms and vehicles on interstates. Take a look and see if you can pick out these extra features, then click on the image to toggle a map overlay and see if your analysis was correct!

Wind farms are shown in orange, with interstates in green.

July 11, 2012 0616Z Radar Image from KLOT


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