Bounded Weak Echo Region (BWER)
(Also known as a vault.) Radar signature within a thunderstorm characterized by a local minimum in radar reflectivity at low levels which extends upward into, and is surrounded by, higher reflectivities aloft. This feature is associated with a strong updraft and is almost always found in the inflow region of a thunderstorm. It cannot be seen visually.
Bow Echo
A radar echo which is linear but bent outward in a bow shape. Damaging straight-line winds often occur near the "crest" or center of a bow echo. Areas of circulation also can develop at either end of a bow echo, which sometimes can lead to tornado formation - especially in the left (usually northern) end, where the circulation exhibits cyclonic rotation.
Comma Echo
A thunderstorm radar echo which has a comma-like shape. It often appears during latter stages in the life cycle of a bow echo
(Pronounced day-RAY-cho), a widespread and usually fast-moving windstorm associated with convection. Derechos include any family of downburst clusters produced by an extratropical MCS, and can produce damaging straight-line winds over areas hundreds of miles long and more than 100 miles across.
Energy back scattered from a target (precipitation, clouds, etc.) and received by and displayed on a radar screen.
Echo Tops
The height above ground of the center of the radar beam using the tilt, or scan, that contains the highest elevation where reflectivities greater than 18 dBZ can be detected.
Hook Echo
A radar reflectivity pattern characterized by a hook-shaped extension of a thunderstorm echo, usually in the right-rear part of the storm (relative to its direction of motion). A hook often is associated with a mesocyclone, and indicates favorable conditions for tornado development.
Line Echo Wave Pattern
(abbrev. LEWP) A radar echo pattern formed when a segment of a line of thunderstorms surges forward at an accelerated rate.
Pendant Echo
Radar signature generally similar to a hook echo, except that the hook shape is not as well defined.
Progressive Derecho
Derecho characterized by a short curved squall line oriented nearly perpendicular to the mean wind direction with a bulge in the general direction of the mean flow. Downburst activity occurs along the bulging portion of the line. This type of derecho typically occurs in the warm season (May through August) and is most frequent in a zone extending from eastern South Dakota to the upper Ohio Valley. The severe wind storms typically begin during the afternoon and continue into the evening hours. Several hours typically pass between initial convection and the first wind damage report.
Serial Derecho
Type of derecho that consists of an extensive squall line which is oriented such that the angle between the mean wind direction and the squall line axis is small. A series of LEWPs and bow echoes move along the line. The downburst activity is associated with the LEWPs and bows. A Serial Derecho tends to be more frequent toward the north end of the line during the late winter and spring months. It occurs less frequently than its cousin the "progressive derecho."

It is associated with a linear type mesoscale convective system that moves along and in advance of a cold front or dry line. These boundaries are often associated with a strong, migratory surface low pressure system and strong short wave trough at 500 mb (strong dynamic forcing). Lifted Indices are typically -6 or lower and the advection of dry air in the mid-troposphere (3-7 km above ground) by relatively strong winds leads to high convective instability and increased downdraft potential. The bow echoes move along the line in the direction of the mean flow, often southwest to northeast. These storms move at speeds exceeding 35 knots. Squall line movement is often less than 30 knots.
Spearhead Echo
A radar echo associated with a downburst with a pointed appendage extending toward the direction of the echo motion. The appendage moves much faster than the parent echo, which is drawn into the appendage. During it's mature stage, the appendage turns into a major echo and the parent echo loses its identity.
Thin Line Echo
A narrow, elongated, non-precipitating echo. It is usually associated with thunderstorm outflows, fronts, or other density discontinuities. It is also known as a Fine Line.
Weak Echo Region
(Abbrev. WER) - A WSR-88D radar product which displays reflectivity for up to 8 elevation angles for a radar operator selected location as a set presentation of a storm. The plains in this product are presented in an ascending order, lowest plain is lowest elevation angle selected. It is used to depict storm tilt and to identify Weak Echo Regions (WER) and Bounded Weak Echo Regions (BWER) in thunderstorms.

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