Gary explains radar images

Monday, April 7th 2008, 12:58 pm
By: News 9

By Gary England, NEWS 9 Director of Meteorology

To the right are radar images from the early morning hours of March 31, 2008 when small circulations and at least one tornado moved across northern Oklahoma County.

Just imagine that you're outside your house looking at a tall thunderstorm. Then assume that you take a horizontal slice out of the storm, kind of like a pancake, pull it out and place it flat in your hand. Then, look down at it and you can see all of the little patterns in the pancake. That is basically what a radar does.

With the slices taken of the various storms, one can see small cyclonically shaped circulations that have pulled precipitation into them. This enables us to see the "hook echoes" and in one case see a "donut hole" presentation as the winds rotate in a counter-clockwise manner.