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An Introduction to Weather Map Symbols and Terminology


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Radar Intensity Colors on a Weather Map
Radar Intensity Colors

Radar Echo Intensity shows the amount of precipitation in an area by assigned a series of colors to indicate heavy or light precipitation including hail, rain, and snow.

NOAA National Weather Service
Radar intensity is a way to "see" through rain. A pulse of energy is beamed through a cloud and the amount of echo returned will give the intensity of precipitation. The echo is actually a reflection of the energy and a computer will generate a color code to indicate the amount of precipitation.

The DBZ on the Image is Decibels
When the radar echo reaches the precipitation, the larger the raindrops, or the more raindrops there are, the greater the DBZ value and the heavier the precipitation.

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