RadarScope comes with various radar “products”. Radar “products” allow one to better analyze storm structures by examining traditional radar (reflectivity), winds blowing toward and away from a radar tower to better determine wind shear and tornadoes (velocity), current rainfall estimates, and much more.
Changing radar products in RadarScope is easy. At the bottom of the screen, click on the Products menu and select the different radar product from the popup menu.
Base Reflectivity Tilt 1 is the traditional radar “product” most people use to track storms. It shows easily where storms are heading in any given area.
Composite Reflectivity pieces together multiple layers of a radar sweep into a picture that shows the entire storm structure in a single image. It is great for seeing the complete picture of where storms are heading in any given area.
Storm Relative Velocity Tilt 1 is a great way to get a picture of winds blowing toward and away from the radar (as indicated by the red and green on the radar) to better detect wind shear and tornadoes. Areas on radar where red and green tightly meet indicate wind shear and the possibility of a tornado.
Some Radar Sites across the US have been upgraded to “dual-pol” Radar Sites. “Dual-pol” Radar Sites use two different types of beams (both traditional horizontal and now vertical) that paints a better picture of what one can see on radar. For Radar Sites that support “dual-pol”, the layers in the last section of the “products” drop down menu (starting with Differential Reflectivity 1) are available to RadarScope users. For Radar Sites that do not support “dual-pol”, these layers will not be available until those Radar Sites are upgraded to support “dual-pol”. One of the layers, Hydrometeor Classification 1, makes it easy to distinguish between hail and rain in a storm structure.