What does rotation look like on doppler radar?

doppler_velocityLive 13Futuretrack has the capability of looking at thunderstorms around here, or around the country!

I turned on the Greenville/Spartanburg, SC NWS radar and flipped it into velocity mode. This gives you a picture of what we will be using when we have tornado warnings. First thing to do is locate where the radar site is. I labelled that with a white dot. Any green color shaded is wind moving TOWARD the radar site. Any red color displayed is wind moving AWAY from the radar site. Now look where the brighter reds and greens (higher speeds) are in close proximity to one another. Knowing that most tornadoes and funnels spin counterclockwise, we then look where these “couplets” form rotation. It’s easy now to see where the possible tornadoes are. I labelled them with white circles. Now just because there are greens and red couplets together doesn’t exactly mean there will be a tornado. Where it says “New warning here?” there appears to be some intense rotation. However you can’t just look at the velocity on doppler. I switched it over to “reflectivity mode” which shows us where the intense precip is…and there’s no storm there.

So, even though picking out rotating storms is a little difficult at first, the combo of experience and 13Futuretrack makes it possible to see where a tornadoes will form BEFORE they touch down. -ES


Posted under severe weather, tornado

This post was written by qni_it on April 10, 2009

6 Comments so far

  1. Chad T April 10, 2009 7:03 PM

    Nasty couple of days for the south. I’ve been watching this system since yesterday afternoon. I use GRLevel3 to monitor these systems. Looking at the SPC Convective Outlooks, the south will be dealing with more severe weather in the coming days.

    I was watching the Weather Channel early today looking for updates on the Mena, AR tornado, and they spoke to one of the NWS damage surveyors, and he had mentioned it looked to be a half mile wide EF3 with a 10 – 15 mile track. It’s going to be interesting reading the summaries for these events once they’re posted on the NWS website.

  2. Chad T April 10, 2009 7:09 PM

    I’m keeping a close eye the new warning issued fo the Putnam county in GA. The reason I’m watching this one is becuase it looks to be heading towards Augusta, GA .

  3. Eric Sorensen April 10, 2009 8:44 PM

    Chad T: Gibson Ridge is an awesome tool! Augusta, GA under Tor Warning now. -ES

  4. Chad T April 10, 2009 9:05 PM

    Yep, tornado spotted on the west side of Augusta right now.

  5. Jim Z April 10, 2009 10:33 PM

    Yes the GRLx products are awesome..if you have the $$ level 2 and AE products are awesome but take sometime to learn how to use and interpret properly.
    We’ll get our chance up here when we get some heat ! 😉

  6. Chad T April 10, 2009 11:04 PM

    Yeah I would love to have the L2 AE version, with a subscription to AllisonHouse, but the free feed suits my needs for now. I’m waiting for the storms to make it up our way. I just moved back to Roscoe from South Beloit, and off my back porch I have a great view to the west.

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