Doppler Radar Explained

6 Storm Team Weather School

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Many people have seen Doppler Rader, but do you know how it works?

First of all, it looks like a giant golf ball on a tee, but that’s not the actual radar. That’s called the radome and it protects the radar is inside of it.

The Doppler Radar works by transmitting a signal to a cloud. The cloud refracts it or bounces it back and it acts like a giant ear. It listens to and receives a signal.

It tracks the shape and location of this object, so, it knows where it is and how fast it is moving, which way it’s going, and if it’s going towards the radar site or away from the radar site.

Doppler Radar will also send out one horizontal pulse moving in one direction, this will give the location and movement of a storm. A recent upgrade a few years ago called Dual Polarization does a 3-D cross-section, where it sends a vertical and a horizontal pulse at the same time. This will measure the size and distance of an object.

So, it knows if it is a snowflake or if it’s rain, and it is getting a cross-section to know how big it is.

Another thing it can do is it can determine if it is non-meteorological or if it’s something like birds or debris from a storm.

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