How the Heck do you Read a Weather Radar?
The weather radar we see on the local weather forecasts can be confusing. You have to know the key colors, make sure you’re looking at the future forecast, and take it with a grain of salt because it could be wrong entirely. And if you’re watching it on your local news it can be even harder with the weatherman’s explanations playing at the same time. All this when all you really want to know is whether or not you need to bring an umbrella to work today or not. It’s much easier to know what’s coming if you can read the radar for yourself. The people at Outside magazine have some tips on how to read weather radar like a pro;
- Look at more than just precipitation
- Know what's going on inside a storm
- Recognize the limits of radar
- Get the best radar app for your area
- Most color scales are simple rainbows, warmer colors indicate heavier precipitation
- By using the Doppler effect to measure how fast and in which direction rain, hail, and snow are moving, it can accurately tell us the wind speed and direction of a storm
- Velocity imagery is almost always displayed with red and green colors
- You can spot rotation and a possible tornado in a thunderstorm by looking for strong winds blowing in different directions right next to each other
- Bright colors all moving in one direction are a sign of damaging straight-line winds
- Mountains are a significant barrier to radar use in the western United States
It’s no secret that weather is a very fluid event each and every day. One day you can be enjoying a warm and sunny day, and then the very next it can be windy with clouds and freezing cold temperatures. Sometimes both extremes can show up in a single day. And while weathermen do the best they can to predict, sometimes weather will do whatever it wants. So take some time to familiarize yourself with the symbols and colors on the weather radar so you can know whether or not to bring that umbrella today.
As always, if disaster strikes, SERVPRO of Springfield and SERVPRO of Morgan, Cass, Macoupin & Montgomery Counties are always here for you. We can be reached 24/7 at 217-528-7775.