Monday, April 9, 2018

Tornado Detection by Radar Started 65 Years Ago Today

The first hook echo identified and photographed on radar.
Sixty-five years ago, out in the middle of central Illinois cornfields at the University of Illinois airport, electrical and radar engineer Don Staggs deferred shutting down a radar being used for rainfall research because he noticed something peculiar about the radar return he was seeing. That decision turned out to reveal the first detection of a tornado "hook echo" by radar. We have come a long way since then. The dual polarization Doppler radar now being used by the National Weather Service can detect rotation in storm before tornadoes develop, adding critical lead time for tornado warnings.

My blog post on April 9, 2013 relates the story behind the detection of the first hook echo on the 60th anniversary of the event.

No comments:

Post a Comment