Weird patterns on radar as rain band hits

Weird patterns on radar as rain band hits

Weather
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Odd images on BOM rain radars got tongues wagging this afternoon, but the end result was positive for croppers looking for rain.

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Interaction between the radar and the cloud cover associated with the rain caused weird images on weather maps on Friday.

Interaction between the radar and the cloud cover associated with the rain caused weird images on weather maps on Friday.

IT WAS enough to pique the interest of the scores of farmers through Victoria and southern NSW poring over the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) radar looking for forecast crop-saving rain on Friday.

An odd circular pattern, which seemingly showed 'waves' within the intensity of the rain, clearly showed up on the Mildura and Rainbow radars as the rainband swept south.

Were the internet conspiracy theorists right and there was clear evidence of artificial manipulation of the weather or was the rain intense enough to create some sort of a hurricane -like image?

The answer, according to a BOM spokesman, was much more mundane, although an interesting example of physics at work.

"Every image you see from the Bureau's radars is made up of a number of "slices" through a weather system as the radar scans at different heights," the spokeperson said.

"Each of these slices may take in a portion of the weather system and also a portion of clear sky.

"That's why, when the slices are put together into a two-dimensional image, you sometimes end up with what looks like bands of rain, rather than a uniform picture."

Whatever the view, Mallee farmers were pleased with the results, with Mildura recording 12mm to 4pm, Swan Hill 17mm and Hopetoun 15mm.

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