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The first radar image of a tornado was detected in Champaign

Last week was the anniversary of the first documented radar image of a tornado. The tornado was detected by a radar at Willard Airport on April 9th, 1953, and it led to the establishment of the first radar network in the U.S.

From Illinois State Climatologist Jim Angel:

“The radar was located at Willard Airport, south of Champaign IL, and was being used along with a rain gauge network to relate radar signals with rain rates. Don Staggs, the radar technician, had stayed late to complete repairs on the radar. While testing the repairs, he noticed an interesting radar return and began recording the radar scope using the mounted 35 mm camera. As a result, he captured a well-defined hook echo on film.”

You can read more about it here.
Image from Illinois State Climatologist website.

Staff writer

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