Buggy Weather Radar

Iowa Climate Science Education

Guest Essay by Kip Hansen

featured_imagefeatured_imageWeather radar is a wonderful thing ? and many of us depend on it to know such important facts such as ?When will that rainstorm hit my area??.

At sea, I used my on-board radar to detect the edges of rainfall and rain squalls, track them, and predict when and if they would affect our little sailboat. Occasionally, I used the radar to ?see? through rainfall and detect the navigation buoys (which had special radar reflectors mounted on them) that marked the entrance to a safe harbor (the sailing equivalent to ?flying on instruments?.)

Some of the online (and broadcast media outlets) use ?future radar? to predict the movement of storms ? computerized projections mapped on the radar graphic as if it were actual radar return.

?Modern weather radars are mostly pulse-Doppler radars, capable of detecting the motion of rain droplets in addition to the…

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