Weather radar is a type of instrumentation that can detect and locate precipitation... calculate its motion and estimate its type such as rain... snow or hail.
The data gained from these weather radar can then be analyzed to determine the structure of storms and the severe weather they cause.
The Oklahoma City weather radar was about 13 miles directly east of the Moore, Oklahoma tornado... and it observed the entire life of the tornado from 2:56 p.m. to 3:35 p.m. Central Time on May 20, 2013.
The KTLX weather radar took 14 different elevation scans of the atmosphere between 3:16 p.m. and 3:20 p.m... detecting the tornado debris as it moved eastward.
The picture attached is the debris signature of the tornado as detected by the radar... which helped meteorologists know damage was occurring and being picked up and thrown around the vortex. This data is crucial in helping in the near term validation of tornadoes producing damage.
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