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Radar Observations

 Radar Observations

  • Weather observers use four types of radar to provide information about precipitation, wind, and weather systems.
  • The WSR-88D NEXRAD radar commonly called Doppler radar, provides in-depth observations that inform surrounding communities of impending weather.
  •  Doppler radar has two operational modes: clear air and precipitation.
  •  In clear air mode, the radar is in its most sensitive operational mode because a slow antenna rotation allows the radar to sample the atmosphere longer.
  •  Images are updated about every 10 minutes in this model.
  • Precipitation targets provide stronger return signals therefore the radar is operated in the Precipitation mode when precipitation is present.
  • A faster antenna rotation in this mode allows images to update at a faster rate, approximately every 4 to 6 minutes.
  • Intensity values in both modes are measured in dBZ (decibels of Z) and depicted in color on the radar image.
  •  Intensities are correlated to intensity terminology (phraseology) for air traffi c
  • control purposes.


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