There is science behind predicting the weather. When we hear a weather report, there is actually a process behind it. Weather radars are essential to meteorology and the art of predicting the weather. Some use microwave signals and still others use the Doppler Effect.
The weather radars that use microwave signals have been around since the 1950’s. Their chief role is to detect both the location and intensity of any precipitation. To do this the radar, which stands for radar direction and range, emits a signal that is reflected back by the target. In this case, the target is the precipitation. When the precipitation is larger and/or has a higher density, the rate of reflection will also be greater. Once the signal gets reflected, a special antenna picks it up.
Doppler radars use the Doppler Effect. The Doppler Effect signifies a change or shift, in a given frequency or wavelength.. A classic example is when an ambulance goes by. Because of the Doppler Effect, our ears will hear two different sounds that vary depending on the ambulance’s location. Doppler radar uses this technology to help predict and understand the weather.
Doppler radar is more accurate than the older style radars. In these radars, the signal is sent out to the target in a pulsating pattern, which made for a less accurate read. In Doppler radar, the signal is sent out at a more constant rate. The Doppler Effect then shifts the signal as it is returning. The amount of the signal shift will depend on the speed of the target. The signal is then picked up and interpreted with a higher accuracy than with the older radars.
Weather radars are an important aspect of meteorology. Often, when we see a weather report, we are shown the Doppler radar’s information. Doppler radar tends to be more accurate than older weather radars. However, despite these advancements, a storm can be unpredictable, so there is still an amount of chance present when trusting a report.