EOC Support Unit
NEMA Annual Overviews
Definitions and Terms
Radar Interpretation and Storm Anticipation 2014
Radar Interpretation and Storm Anticipation 2015This is a series of three classes that examine actual storm data from storm events in the preceding year. An examination of the big picture severe storm atmospheric setup, a detailed interpretation of real storm radar pictures, and how the two can be combined to allow for "storm anticipation."
These classes are for the emergency management and Public Safety community only.These classes are not open to the general public.
The first part is examining the big picture atmospheric setup which allows you to anticipate the "most likely" storm mode that will be seen on the radar screen before the storms even form. The data examined is the mesoanalysis data available on the SPC web site. This analysis gives you clues to which storm features you are most likely to see in a radar picture. It gives you clues as to the strength of the likely severe storms are we talking a brief EF0 spin-up, or possibly an EF4/5 tornado. It gives a clue that if a storm feature shows up that is not anticipated, the big picture atmospheric setup is either changing, or you radar interpretation is flawed.
The second part is anticipating what the storm is most likely to produce or its future behavior for locations downstream of the storm. In other words, if a storm is headed your way; is it likely to dissipate, stay the same, or strengthen before arrival. If you can correctly "anticipate" a storm before it arrives overhead, you can make the proper decisions concerning any type of safety procedures that might be needed such as siren activation. Most of this anticipation is gleaned from analyzing/interpreting the radar pictures if you know what you are looking at. All those pretty colors and patterns are trying to tell you something. It is your job to decode those colors and patterns. You will learn this "radar interpretation" in the classes.
Correct storm analysis and anticipation leads to greatly improved public safety. Over warning and false alarms leads to public apathy and a "Crying Wolf" syndrome. If the goal of any type of warning is proper public reaction and safety procedures, then the warnings must be factual and accurate. Sounding sirens because your neighboring town sounded theirs, or your toe hurts, or you are nervous, or the warning polygon is "close" is not a plan. It just leads to public apathy and inaction the next time. False alarms just train the public to ignore future alarms/warnings. In these classes, you will learn how to avoid "Crying Wolf" in your community.