An example of detection of a hook echo using radar
Does wind have an effect on radio waves?
Wind does not have an effect on radio
waves. Radio waves have a long wavelength. Wind
affect radio waves because the air particles associated with wind are far too
small for the radio wave to bounce off of. Radio waves can only bounce off of
Wind can be measured by Doppler radar.
Doppler radar uses microwaves instead of radio waves. Microwaves are a lot
smaller and can detect small things such as
clouds, dust, and precipitation.
A Doppler radar dish sends out pulses of microwaves into the atmosphere. The
microwaves bounce off objects (clouds, precipitation, and dust
particles) and bounce
back to the radar dish. The returned waves tell meteorologists how far away
the object is, as well as whether it's moving toward or away from the dish.
Since clouds, precipitation, and dust particles are moved by the wind,
meteorologists can determine the speed and direction of the wind! In fact, a
special type of instrument called a wind profiler uses Doppler radar to
determine wind speed and direction every day. And you thought meteorologists
only used weather vanes!
Submitted by John (age 36, Ohio, USA)
(February 16, 1998)
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