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A RADAR view of the Carolinas

Weather RADAR also detects objects in the atmosphere that have nothing to do with weather. Nearby towers, flocks of birds, swarms of insects, and clouds of dust can all reflect RADAR signals and appear on RADAR images. Meteorologists have to learn to recognize odd-shaped RADAR patterns, or else they risk embarrassing themselves and sending their communities into a panic if they mistake a flock of birds for a thunderstorm.

Fortunately, non-weather objects are usually quite noticeable on RADAR images. For example, the RADAR pattern for a large glass building is spike-shaped, unlike any weather RADAR pattern.

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Weather or not? (662k)

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RADAR image of a building (37k)

 
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