Monday, April 9, 2012

Severe Weather History: First Radar Indicated Tornado Signature on this Date in 1953...

The above YouTube video shows the first ever radar indicated tornado signature (also known as a "hook echo"). It was captured on this date back in 1953 on a radar being tested by the Illinois State Water Survey in Champaign, IL.  

The parent thunderstorm went on to produce the tornado shown below:

Needless to say, technology has advanced quite a bit since the 1950s and 1960s when meteorologists and forecasters sat in darkened rooms watching for the latest sweep of the radar scope, hoping to make something out on the blurry screens.

In a recent post I described the benefits of the latest round of radar technology, dual polarization, which is currently being launched at National Weather Service radar sites around the country.   You can view that article by going here.

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