|SEVERE STORM TRACKING TECHNIQUES
METEOROLOGIST JEFF HABY
The most dangerous portion of a storm is the mesocyclone. If a
large hail occur it will
generally be near this portion of the storm. Thus, it is a good idea to use this portion of the
storm as the central position of the storm when plotting the storm's movement.
It is a good idea to remind that storms and
severe thunderstorms often produce tornadoes even when
no tornado warning is out yet. While radar can be used to determine the circulations associated with
a tornado, the radar can not tell if the circulation is connected to the ground.
Storm spotters are very
helpful in determining whether the circulation is in contact with the ground.
When plotting the movement of a storm focus on the cities in the path of the storm since the storm
is likely already impacting those cities. Radar data is often several minutes old.
When plotting the movement of a storm it will not always move in a straight line. Development within
the storm and shear can cause the storm to take a curving and wobbling path. Adjust the anticipated
path of the storm on each radar update.
Be aware of new storms that develop and do not become overly fixated only on storms that have a warning
out on them. Severe storms can develop in a matter of minutes.
Geographic features, roads and landmarks make it easier for viewers to understand where a storm is
Be careful about zooming in too close for too long on a storm when running the radar. Keep a close watch
on all the viewing area. Also keep radar display simple enough so that viewers can understand what is