The Great Doppler Radar Effect II: Low-Down on Tech, and How it can Help

WeatherBug takes its job of forecasting seriously so that you don’t have to cancel that family trip your kids wanted due to a heavy snowstorm, or have the heavens rain on your parade as you pop the question.

One of the tools we use to do this is a Doppler radar system. Like we told you, it’s this system we use to power Spark, our real-time lightning map, to provide minutely detailed information on precipitation patterns, and to give you a precise overview of all surrounding weather conditions.

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You might have been the Physics whiz of your batch, or might be wholly unable to tell your scalars from your vectors. But if you use the WeatherBug Doppler radar-powered weather maps, you’ll know that the Doppler Effect is rather useful in getting you through rain or shine with equal élan.

The Doppler Effect is observed with a moving source of sound, or any other physical entity that moves in the form of waves. Before you quit this page to browse cat videos to regain your interest in life, let’s take an example to illustrate.

Suppose you shoot a winning goal in the interstate football tournament finisher. You will – obviously – let out a gloating victory screech where you stand. As you brutally kill your larynx, your teammates will rush towards you doing much the same. Here, you and your pals are the input, the weather conditions producing the movements that the radar will then map.

Let’s say a fan of the other team comes to the field to stand and stare in shock near the dead ball line side.  will receive the sound you make the same as a similar observer behind the in-goal area. But one observer will receive the sound waves your friends make differently from the other. If your mates are running towards the in-goal area, the observer on that side (who we will call WeatherBug Doppler Radar, though it’s an awkward name to have) will receive a higher-pitched version of the sound than the other who will receive a lower-pitched sound. In WeatherBug app terms, this roughly corresponds to how the radar emitter receives sound data from atmospheric objects moving towards it. The only difference is that the radar generates microwaves to reflect off of the objects.

We obviously use it in conjunction with a number of other technologies to make the data collected by our Doppler pulses more reliable. Our Doppler radar technique gives real-time updates on weather precipitation patterns. What this means is that we can map the trajectory of a storm, and pass on the information to you in the form of a handy animated map. We gauge the intensity and particular type of the storm – by measuring its size, which is another advantage over traditional forecasting – and let you know through our interactive map on the WeatherBug app.

What does this mean for you? It means that if you have to schedule regular or adventure sports, you can get detailed data on possible storms coming your way which might help you delay or avoid annoying breaks in play or hazardous conditions while trekking, mountain-climbing or skiing. You can enjoy a long drive knowing that the last storm-front passed through with no promise to come back. In other words, you can integrate the potential of our radar into any sphere of your life that at all involves the great outdoors. And you should go out: obesity is still on the rise here, you know.

So what are you waiting for? Get your ‘Droids out or ‘byte’ into your Apples for cutting edge weather-watching today!