11 February 2009

What A Tornado Looks Like on Radar

Posted by Dan Satterfield

James Paul dice, my former work partner and now Chief Meteorologist for WBRC in Birmingham, was archiving the radar data from Oklahoma City when the tornado struck Edmond on Tuesday afternoon. No matter where in the world you read my journal from, you will likely see the video shot from KFOR TV’s helicopter of the tornado tearing up houses and lives. 

What you will not see is what a Meteorologist looking at a radar display saw. Unless you open your browser to this post.  For giant twisters near the radar, you do not need doppler wind data to see the tornado. The old 1940’s reflectivity will do just fine. 

Yes, in case you are wondering. This IS a hook echo.



Seeing this for the first time, as a forecaster, when people are  depending on you for severe weather warnings, is not something one forgets. 

  Later, Dan