Radarscope App

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By Joey W on March 9, 2013, 10:45am Last modified: March 11, 2013, 9:43am

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With Radarscope, you are able to access tons of weather radars.   These aren't just precipitation type radars, these are HI-DEF level 3 NEXRAD radar images that National Weather Service Meteorologists use.   Now, with the new Dual Polarization radars, you are able to access radars such as Differential Reflectivity, Correlation Coefficient, Specific Differential Phase and Hydrometer Classification.   To learn more about Dual Polarization radar, the National Weather Service has training for Dual Polarization here http://www.wdtb.noaa.gov/courses/dualpol/outreach/.

One of my favorite features of Radarscope is Base Velocity.   With Base Velocity radar, you are able to determine if there are strong winds in severe thunderstorms, such as squall lines and supercells.

The picture above is an image from Base Velocity radar.   Red is where the winds are going away from the radar sight.   Green is when the winds are going toward the radar sight.   Purple is when the radar cannot detect that area.   When these red and green meet, and there is no grey color, there is rotation within the storm.   In this case, look at the purple circle, if this scenario were to play out, the National Weather Service in Little Rock would issue a Tornado Warning for that area.   The radar sight is the area that says KLZK.  

One other feature on Radarscope that is pretty cool is called 1 Hour Surface Rainfall.   With this, you will be able to see the radar estimated rainfall that is falling in one hour.   This is also great with snowfall because you can convert 0.1 inches of rainfall to 1" of snow.   

Storm Total Surface Rainfall is basically the same thing, but it gives you an estimate of how much rain has fallen in total so far.   

With Echo Tops, you are able to determine severe thunderstorms.   The higher the Echo Top is, the higher chance of the storm being severe.   For example, if I had a thunderstorm on radar, and the echo top is 70 kft, there is about a 100% chance that the storm is severe.   Kft stands for kilo feet.   Kilo is another word for one thousand.   Another way you can put it is that the higher the echo top is, the stronger the updraft is.   An updraft makes hail and strong winds more likely.   Like dew points make severe thunderstorms more likely.   

Vertically integrated liquid or VIL radar shows an estimate of how much precipitation is in the clouds.   Like Echo Tops, the higher the VIL value is, the stronger the storm is.   Vertically integrated liquid is good to determine if there is hail.   Surprisingly,  large hail has been reported in 15 kg m-2 (Vertically integrated liquid values) and echo tops as low as 10 kft.   Basically, if you have a high echo top and high VIL, you need to be aware for a possible severe thunderstorm.  

Base Reflectivity is the radar to see how heavy precipitation.   As well as Base Velocity, Storm Relative Velocity and all of the Dual Polarization radars, there are different tilts.   I recommend you use tilt 1.   Basically, the other tilts are the radar tilting in other directions.   Please note: this radar is not able to determine the type of precipitation, only how heavy the precipitation is falling. With Base Reflectivity, the values are dBZ.  A 5-10 dBZ reading is indicating very light precipitation, with rainfall rates under 0.01 an hour, where a 60 to 65 dBZ reading could mean rainfall rates over 8 inches an hour, with extremely heavy rainfall.

Composite Reflectivity is a radar with the Base Reflectivity tilts 1 through 4 put together with the average radar image.   

Be sure to check Radarscope out in the app store!

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Joey W

Town: New Haven Area  

Reporting for WXedge since September 2012.

Articles: 106

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