how to spot a supercell on radar

Jim Pringle, warning coordinator meteorologist at the Weather Service office in Grand Junction, was in Durango last week to teach a storm-spotting class, along with other classes and media visits around the area. The bow shape is produced from the rush of cool air that descends from a thunderstorm downdraft. On radar, they can appear as a single continuous line, or as a segmented line of storms. More than 12,000 people nationwide volunteer for CoCoRAHS, and more are needed in this area and eastern Utah. A storm Sept. 22, 2013, created tennis-ball-sized hail in western La Plata County, as well as flooding roads around the county. supercells are extremely difficult to locate on radar reflectivity since there is a lack of precipitation wrapping around the wall cloud. Jim Pringle, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service, displays a map of weather radar coverage in the … Lightning strikes are the No. The National Weather Service office in Grand Junction is staffed 24 hours a day, with 14 people working on rotating shifts. The hook signature is produced from precipitation that gets wrapped into the counterclockwise-rotating winds (mesocyclone) within a supercell storm. In the case of a telephone or cellular system crash, there are enough volunteer radio operators between Durango and Grand Junction to relay a message or weather report, Pringle said. Storm-spotting training is available online, but it is geared primarily toward tornadoes, Pringle said. (These values are denoted by reds, pinks, purples, and whites centrally located within the storm.). The arrows depict surface winds and downdrafts. That's because a hook echo is an "x marks the spot" indication of favorable locations for tornado development. Mini supercells can create updraft and downdraft winds of up to 100 mph, he said. Skywarn Spotters, amateur radio volunteers who receive special training from the Weather Service and are called to observe weather phenomena, also are important for the Four Corners. Durango High School football defeats Canon City High School on Friday night at DHS. Grand Junction is one of 124 National Weather Service forecast offices around the country and the closest to Southwest Colorado. Reports take about five minutes a day to log in, or less when there is no precipitation. As a general rule, the brighter the radar color, the more severe the weather associated with it. The term "single cell" is commonly used to describe an individual spot of thunderstorm activity. Circulations can sometimes occur at a bow echo's ends, with the left (northern) end being the most favored for tornadoes, due to the fact that air flows cyclonically there. That stands for the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network. Lightning storms are divided into single-cell, multi-cell and supercell storms. Sign up for our daily email newsletter or to receive breaking news delivered to your inbox: Choose from several print and digital subscription packages, © 1996–2020 Durango Herald | Ballantine Communications, Inc. All Rights Reserved. This process repeats fairly rapidly (about every 5-15 minutes). As a result, its radar return values are quite high, usually 60+ decibels (dBZ). More information is at It appears on radar as a clockwise, hook-shaped extension that branches off from the right rear of a supercell thunderstorm. When storm chasers see this pattern on radar, they can expect to have a successful chase day. One of the congressional charges to the weather service is “the protection of life and property.”. When grouped in a line, multicell thunderstorms are referred to as squall lines. That's because a hook echo is an "x marks the spot" indication of favorable locations for tornado development. And even though we live in the mountains, tornadoes can occur in Colorado. Durango High School defeats Lutheran High School on Saturday in the quarter final playoff game at DHS. It was founded in Fort Collins after a flash flood there killed several people and has now expanded across the country and into Canada and Puerto Rico. The schematic plan views below show how isolated supercell thunderstorms (panel a) appear on radar reflectivity displays in comparison to various bow echo configurations (panels b-d). The blue areas have coverage, while the dark areas have little or no coverage, increasing the importance of weather spotters in the area. When it reaches the earth's surface, it is forced horizontally outward. This occurrence is what's called a hail spike; it almost always indicates that very large hail is associated with the storm. By showing precipitation and its intensity as a color-coded image, it allows forecasters and weather novices alike, to keep up with rain, snow, and hail that may be approaching an area. Mini supercells, the most common of the supercells here, are made up of multiple stormclouds but rise to heights of only about 35,000 feet, compared with 70,000-foot towers of stormclouds in the Midwest, for example. Multicell thunderstorms appear as clusters of at least 2-4 single cells moving together as one group. Jim Pringle, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service, displays a map of weather radar coverage in the Four Corners. More information from the National Weather Service is at Sometimes a squall line slightly curves outward, resembling an archer's bow. Along the leading edge of a bow echo, thunderstorms may produce downbursts or microbursts. Riders compete in the 4 Corners Cyclocross Series race on Saturday at Durango Mesa. Most tornadoes in Colorado are F0 to F1 in intensity, meaning they’re small in force compared with the F4 and F5 variety often seen in the Midwest. Its Doppler radar is the second-highest in elevation in North America. Is that supercell thunderstorm a potential tornado? Some of the most recognizable thunderstorm types are shown here as they appear on reflectivity radar images. Broncos left without any QBs, 49ers could be forced to relocate as pandemic... NFL benches all Broncos quarterbacks for Saints game, Report a paper delivery issue/suspend delivery. When this happens, the line of thunderstorms is referred to as a bow echo. The only requirement is the purchase of a 4-inch professional rain gauge. In the same way that radar colors make it easy to spot an existing storm, shapes make it easy to classify a storm into its severity type. Sign up for text alerts on your mobile phone. Another opportunity for people to participate in weather observation is CoCoRAHS. 98, Durango writer turns pandemic challenges into children’s podcast, 2 people die in small plane crash near Telluride. Weather radar is a vital forecasting tool. The National Weather Service is part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. When storm chasers see this pattern on radar, they can expect to have a successful chase day. Quite often, a long line extending outward from the thunderstorm can be seen (as pictured at left). If the bow echo squall is particularly strong and long-lived--that is, if it travels farther than 250 miles (400 km) and has winds of 58+ mph (93 km/h)--it is classified as a derecho. Tiffany Means is a meteorologist and member of the American Meteorological Society who has worked for CNN, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and more. They often evolve from merging pulse thunderstorms, and are the most common thunderstorm type. This is why bow echoes are associated with damaging straight-line winds, especially at their center or "crest."

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