Weather Blog

That's not rain on the radar -- it's wind!

The National Weather Service Doppler Radar is among the strongest weather radars around.  It's mainly used to track precipitation, but it's strong enough that in clear air situations, it can pick up such things as flocks of migratory birds!

Or, in this sense, it can also pick up the effects of strong wind.

Here is the radar animation of Wednesday evening, when strong east winds gusting as high as 50 mph were blowing through the Cascade foothills:

Those blobs along the foothills are not rain (note how they are stationary despite this loop running about 25 minutes worth of data).

Instead, what the radar is picking up is the tops of trees waving back and forth in the gusts of wind!

Pretty neat, huh?