New technology lets us find tornadoes

13 Skywatch Nexrad now has the ability to detect tornadoes! WREX-TV is now the only station in Rockford to have the technology to find a tornado within a thunderstorm! Introducing “Skywatch Tornado Mode”.

In the image to the left, we are using our real-time data from the Quad Cities doppler radar. Looking at Tornado Mode tonight, we see that all of the winds are uniform in Whiteside and Lee Counties…out of the southeast. If a tornado was forming, we would see a couplet of green and red, tightly wound. You can see what a strong tornado looks like in Tornado Mode with the bottom image. The tightly wound colors indicate strong rotation…and a tornado!

Let’s hope we won’t have to use Tornado Mode too much, but we will keep it turned on. The next time a Tornado Warning is issued, watch 13WREX as we look within a storm for tornadoes! -ERIC

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This post was written by qni_it on March 30, 2007

4 Comments so far

  1. Justin March 30, 2007 8:56 PM

    Wohoo! I’ve seen things like this before… how exactly does it work? Like what do the red and green represent?

  2. Anonymous March 30, 2007 10:00 PM

    I believe green represents wind toward the radar and red is wind blowing away from the radar. if you get them tightly wound together, you have a tornado.

  3. Justin March 30, 2007 10:16 PM

    alright thanks. This place has been quiet lately…

  4. 13 Weather Team March 30, 2007 11:17 PM

    exactly right! keep in mind we are using the real-time data from the NWS in the Quad Cities, Chicago/Romeoville, and Milwaukee/Sullivan. In the graphic that I posted you can see how the wind was blowing toward the radar over illinois…and blowing away from the radar over iowa. The wind blows perpendicular to the line that is formed by the green and red. If we see any strong couplets of red and green, we may have rotation…especially if there is a big storm in the same place as the rotation. -ERIC

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