January 20, 2010
On Los Angeles Radio, KNX 1070 AM, today at 1:10 PM (1310) Los Angeles Time, a local reporter who claimed to be armed with multiple computers showing Doppler radar (and GPS, no doubt) stated that the official Doppler radar was incorrect with regards to where he was located. The reporter, who was mobile to cover the latest round of storms in Southern California, reported live on the air that the Doppler radar showed a strong, heavy rain/storm cell over downtown Long Beach, California. The reporter stated, however, that he was also concurrently in downtown Long Beach and his location coincided with the heavy storm/rain cell displayed by the Doppler radar. However, guess what….., the reporter was fascinated and amazed to report – live, on-the-air – that there was absolutely no rain in sight anywhere in Downtown Long Beach!
I mean…, I had heard of abnormalities with Doppler radar, mostly in the form of Doppler showing rain in the atmosphere that was not reaching the ground. However, I had never heard of Doppler displaying extremely heavy rain where, in fact, no rain existed at all. Maybe I need to learn more of Doppler radar? Shortly thereafter, a waterspout was reported over the Pacific ten miles to the north and reported to be coming towards shore in the Hermosa Beach area – I am unsure of any correlation.
This matter of erroneous Doppler radar struck me as odd. Because, as simplistic and outside-the-box my ideas are for forecasting severe and possibly tornadic weather, and as much as the mainstream weather gods such as NOAA, National Weather Service, and the local weatherpersons would seem likely to shun my climatologic ideas, their ideas and tools don’t always seem to work any better, such as with the instant case. Of course, nothing is perfect, I suppose. But I have to wonder what amount of cumulative investment costs Doppler radar represents to the U.S. taxpayer? Please pass along your thoughts to me on this matter of erroneous Doppler radar, if you would be so kind.
Adam Trotter / AVT / Tornado Tamer :)