U.S. Senator Introduces Bill to Build Weather Radars for the Country or Maybe Just His State

Dennis Mersereau · 09/18/15 06:30AM

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.

Here's an In-Depth Look at the Tornado That Destroyed Fairdale, Illinois

Dennis Mersereau · 04/14/15 08:30AM

The first violent tornado of the year touched down in north-central Illinois last Thursday, packing winds of up to 200 MPH as it razed the small town of Fairdale. The storm killed two people and injured several more. Here's an in-depth look at the tornadic storm from beginning to end.

Weather Radar Repairs Delayed by Rattlesnake Chillin' in the Equipment

Dennis Mersereau · 02/10/15 06:15PM

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."

Weather Radar Captures Impressive Snow Swirl Over Northern Plains

Dennis Mersereau · 01/24/15 12:27PM

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.

Unleash Your Inner Geek With These Excellent Weather Radar Programs

Dennis Mersereau · 09/15/14 12:27PM

If you're a weather geek and have a few bucks to burn, there are quite a few excellent weather radar programs available for download. Trying to judge which one is the best can be tough, and each has its strengths and weaknesses. Let's take a look at the best (and the worst) weather radar programs.

Outflow Boundaries Are Some of the Coolest Weather Features Around

Dennis Mersereau · 08/28/14 04:39PM

One of the nicest things about summer is a nearby afternoon thunderstorm. The storm bubbles up on the horizon and a few minutes later you get a nice gust of cool, refreshing wind. This gust of wind is called an "outflow boundary," and it's one of the most interesting weather phenomena there is.

Five Beautiful GIFs of Hurricane Arthur Show Nature's Terrifying Power

Dennis Mersereau · 07/08/14 10:45AM

When Hurricane Arthur made landfall on the North Carolina coast last weekend, it was the strongest hurricane to strike the United States since Hurricane Ike hit Texas in 2008. The storm was downright impressive visually, and these gifs document the latent beauty of nature's power.

This One Little Programming Tweak Will Save Thousands of Lives

Dennis Mersereau · 06/18/14 02:23PM

One of the best technological advances in the past year didn't involve any new technology at all — the advance is the result of an ingenious programming tweak developed by the National Weather Service. It will ultimately save thousands of lives over the coming years.

Dennis Mersereau · 05/30/14 03:08PM

When the forecast calls for "scattered thunderstorms," this is what they're talking about.

Check Out This Awesome Pinwheel Low Over Texas and Oklahoma

Dennis Mersereau · 05/27/14 03:54PM

A well-defined low pressure system over Texas and Oklahoma this afternoon is producing an awesome sight on satellite imagery, including a classic comma shape and even an eye-like feature in the middle of it.

Dennis Mersereau · 05/27/14 03:34PM

At 430PM EDT, a rare supercell in central Vermont has a hook echo on it and strong rotation on radar, prompting a tornado warning for Windsor and Rutland Counties. The storm has a history of producing wind damage and hail up to the size of golf balls.

Dennis Mersereau · 05/23/14 04:05PM

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.

Dennis Mersereau · 05/21/14 03:42PM

At 2:40PM MDT, an intense, tornado-warned supercell was approaching Denver International Airport with tennis ball size hail. It's absolutely phenomenal looking on radar, with a textbook shape and wind pattern. A confirmed tornado was spotted near Watkins, CO at 2:51PM MDT.

Check Out These Awesome Satellite and Radar Images of Tuesday's Storms

Dennis Mersereau · 05/20/14 06:58PM

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.

Dennis Mersereau · 05/12/14 07:54PM

A line of thunderstorms over one thousand miles long spreads eastward across the center of the country on Monday evening along the leading edge of a cold front. If you're one to look for shapes in the clouds, see if you can spot the dragon.

New Radar Technology Confirms Damaging Tornado in the Dead of Night

Dennis Mersereau · 04/07/14 02:20PM

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.