Severe Weather Information
"Forecasters and storm spotters have learned to recognize certain thunderstorm features and structure that make tornado formation more likely. Some of these are visual cues, like the rear-flank downdraft, and others are particular patterns in radar images, like the tornadic vortex signature (TVS).
Storm spotters have been trained to recognize tornado conditions and report what they see to the National Weather Service. Storm spotters can be emergency managers or even local people with a keen interest in severe weather who have taken formal storm spotter training in their community.
Computer programs, called algorithms, analyze Doppler radar data and display it in ways that make it easier for forecasters to identify dangerous weather. A storm with a tornado observed by radar has certain distinguishing features and forecasters are trained to recognize them.
When a Doppler radar detects a large rotating updraft that occurs inside a supercell, it is called a mesocyclone. The mesocyclone is usually 2-6 miles in diameter, and is much larger than the tornado that may develop within it.” (Source: https://www.nssl.noaa.gov/education/svrwx101/tornadoes/detection/)
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