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developed for war purposes may play an important part in future
weather forecasting and also make permanent records relative
to the nature of storms and their movements for use in the science
of meteorology. The entire progress of the recent September
hurricane in its gradual curve up Florida was recorded on film
by Army radar equipment at Orlando, Fla. Photographs of each
radar scope were taken each 15 seconds by electrically operated
cameras. Some of these pictures are reproduced in Life magazine
for October 1.
from frontal thunderstorms observed from a Radio Set SCR-584
mobile radar unit located at Spring Lake, New Jersey.
In: "AAF Manual 105-101-2 Radar Storm Detection,"
by Headquarters, Army Air Forces, August 1945. Library
Call Number M15:621.384 U58r.
The use of radar
to detect storms began at least as early as August, 1943. Before
that, radar technicians had noticed "ghost echoes" on their
relatively primitive scopes but did not realize at first that
they were caused by thunderstorms. Later they did, and Army
and Navy meteorologists soon learned how to use radar sets to
follow other types of storms and they later developed better
techniques of detection. But the size and violence of the September
15th storm, and its closeness to the radar station, resulted
in some striking observations of the structure of hurricanes.
Throughout the period when the hurricane was near Florida the
general shape of the disturbance was plainly seen on the micro-wave
set, whose energy was reflected excellently from the rain areas
contained by the storm. The storm was seen to be in the shape
of a figure six with clockwise spiralling "tails." At one time
six distinct "tails" were observed, three of which were detached
and were moving northward ahead of the storm's center. These
were deduced to be rows or rings of rain-bearing storm clouds,
or "line squalls," eight to ten miles in width and from three
to five miles apart. When the hurricane was abreast of the radar
station, and the center only a few miles away, the radar revealed
that the eye of the storm, the calm area in the center, was
12 miles in diameter, and the lack of echoes proved that there
was no precipitation within it. The height-finding radar set
revealed that the dense cloud masses surrounding the eye extended
up to an average of 18,000 feet. -- S.S., Oct. 12.
of the American Meteorologi cal Society, Volume 26, December,
1945. P. 451.]