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Lecture 4

ATOC 184 Lecture Notes - Lecture 4: Wind Profiler, Weather Balloon, Thunderstorm

Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences
Course Code
ATOC 184
Eyad Atallah

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Lecture #4
Wind Profilers
A wind profiler is another type of Doppler radar that detects small variations in
atmospheric density in regions of even the slightest turbulence
The result is that winds can be inferred between altitudes of 500 m (0.5 km) and
16.5 km.
Works like the Doppler radar except its frequency is tuned so that we can better
see the wind in clear air
A Doppler radar requires us to have some sort of precipitation target in
order to see the wind
This is another thing that we use to see and tell what is going on in the weather
A wind profiler is tuned to help us see the wind better in clear air
We can point them in the sky and we can tell how the wind is changing with
It’s like a weather balloon but in this case, we’re basically just seeing the
wind change with height
Infrared satellite images
Satellite measures the infrared radiation (temperatures)
Brightest regions are high clouds (cold clouds) and cold surfaces without clouds
Darkest areas are low clouds (warm clouds), and warm regions of the surface
without clouds
Infrared radiation: talking about heat
The infrared satellite is measuring the temperature of a surface
Its not technically differentiating between what is cloud and what is not cloud
It is differentiating between the temperature of one surface (the surface it
bounces off of) and another surface
What this means is that clouds are high up in the atmosphere and have
cold temperatures so what the satellite reads is a very cold temperature
If the clouds are close to the surface or there’s no clouds, the image will
appear dark because the temperature is warm
Warm areas appear as dark colors
Cold areas appear as light colors
The color convention is arbitrary
How the image is processed is arbitrary but how the different temperatures are
shown in the different colors is important
As a thunderstorm develops, the cloud top temperatures decrease because the cloud
top is developing higher into the atmosphere.
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