The accidental invention of the weather radar during World War II was one of the most important advances we’ve made in keeping people safe from severe storms. Today, the United States is covered by more than 150 Doppler radar sites, but there are some pretty dangerous gaps in that coverage. Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) recently introduced a bill ordering the construction of new radar sites to cover some of the country’s most vulnerable cities, but the bill might be worded just cleverly enough that it applies to exactly one city, which is coincidentally the largest in Burr’s home state.
Meteorologists have to deal with sharp tongues when forecasts don't pan out, but it's not every day they have to deal with sharp teeth. The National Weather Service released a statement this afternoon announcing that repairs to a Texas weather radar were put on hold "due to complications involving a rattlesnake."
If you happened to check the weather radar out of Aberdeen, South Dakota before sunrise last Wednesday (who didn't?), you saw an incredible and unusual sight: a small, spiraling cyclone of snow racing southeast. The swirl almost looks like a small tropical cyclone, with an eye and everything. Here's a look at how the impressive feature formed.
A thunderstorm near Spartanburg, South Carolina just dropped 2.50" hail. That's the size of a tennis ball. Another severe storm, pictured above, is approaching Myrtle Beach at 5:05PM. If you live in the Carolinas, especially along/east of I-85 in South Carolina and along I-95 in North Carolina, keeps a close watch on the storms this evening.
The satellite and radar images coming out of Tuesday's severe weather is approaching "map porn" caliber for weather geeks. The top of this post features a high-resolution satellite image of the central United States, showing severe thunderstorms over Iowa and Illinois, as well as a stubborn and intense supercell near Denver, Colorado.
The only thing more dangerous than a tornado is a tornado that occurs at night. People have some weird need to want to see the tornado before they seek shelter or take any other action. Seeing a tornado at night is usually almost impossible, but last night it wasn't. Meteorologists at the National Weather Service in Jackson, Mississippi were able to confirm the presence of a damaging tornado last night based completely on radar data, proving the effectiveness of its new dual-polarization technology.
Shelby Latino, a weekend meteorologist for WCBI in Columbus, Mississippi, made this incredible radar-themed cake. The cake shows a tornado-producing supercell thunderstorm on weather radar complete with a 3D volumetric display of the storm, which is pretty much the best dessert you could ever make for a weather geek.