Understanding The News On 6 Weather Radars - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

Understanding The News On 6 Weather Radars

People have tried to predict the weather since the beginning of time. To forecast the weather people usually relied on observed patterns of events, for example if it's cloudy it will probably rain. But The News On 6 has come a long way since the days of the caveman. Now, using the latest weather technology the WARN Team is able to keep you safe. With radars in Tulsa, Inola, Oneta, Fredrick, Enid and Oklahoma City, the News On 6 WARN Team keeps a close eye on weather systems to keep you safe in the storm.

News On 6 Radars

Warn Max LIVE Radar is a "live" radar owned and operated by The News On 6 in Tulsa. This high resolution radar allows our staff of meteorologists to control the radar, the sweep and the tilt of the radar beam. The radar manufactured by Enterprise Electronics of Enterprise, Alabama operates in the C-band range and returns intensity and Doppler images utilizing a 14 foot antenna with a peak power of 250 Kilowatts.

WARN MAX LIVE is a high resolution radar giving viewers a much higher quality radar picture due to the increased sampling rate of the processor. The system is capable of sampling radar intensity data every 150 meters in range and every 0.08 degrees in azimuth while operating through the radar's full range. This high resolution allows for greater detail of radar images and allows our staff to better analyze the severe potential of thunderstorms including tornadoes.

WARN MAX is particularly beneficial when identifying potentially tornadic circulations due to the increased sampling rate, the functionality of operating our own live radar and the experience of our meteorologists. The radar image clearly indicates the classic hook of a storm, but the high resolution of WARN MAX shows a very detailed look of the storm.

Next generation radar or NEXRAD obtains weather information based on returned energy. The radar emits a burst of energy. If that energy strikes an object it is scattered in all directions. A small fraction of that scattered energy is directed back toward the radar. The signal is then received by the radar during its "listening period." Computers analyze the strength of the returned pulse, time it took to travel to the object and back, and phase shift of the pulse. This process happens up to 1,300 times a second.

NEXRAD spends the vast amount of time "listening" for returning signals it sent. When the time of all the pulses each hour is totaled, the radar is "on" for about 7 seconds each hour. The remaining 59 minutes and 53 seconds are spent listening for any returned signals.

The ability to detect the "shift in the phase" of the pulse of energy makes NEXRAD a Doppler radar. The phase of the returning signal typically changes based upon the motion of the particular weather.

Types of Radar Images

Base Reflectivity
This is a display of reflectivity measured in decibels of Z, where Z represents the energy reflected back to the radar. Reflectivity is the amount of transmitted power returned to the radar receiver.

Composite Reflectivity
This display is of maximum reflectivity from any elevation angle at every range from the radar. This product is used to reveal the highest reflectivity in all echoes.

One Hour Precipitation
This is an image of estimated one-hour precipitation accumulation on a 1.1 nm by 1 degree grid. This product is used to assess rainfall intensities for flash flood warnings, urban flood statements and special weather statements.

Storm Total Precipitation
This image is of estimated accumulated rainfall, continuously updated, since the last one hour break in precipitation. This product is used to locate flood potential over urban or rural areas, estimate total basin runoff and provide rainfall accumulations for the duration of the event.

To view Doppler Radars across the nation visit National Doppler Radar Sites.

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