RADAR beam blocking by terrain

What happened?

RADAR beams are sent out and reflected by objects that are approximately the same size as the beam, or objects that are very large and dense. The large and dense objects are usually terrain. In mountainous terrain, such as the northeastern United States, the terrain can block significant portions of the outgoing radiation, providing some areas to which the RADAR is blind. It is easy to find such areas when there is a large precipitation shield over the area, such as during this example, from tropical storm Irene on August 28, 2011.

RADAR images

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Last update to this page: September 7, 2011