Weather Radar Rings!
By Steven Hile
In this critique I review a phenomenon which I've have had some military experience with. Weather radar now commonly referred to as weather Doppler is a daily presentation on many local television stations. This technology penetrates the skies over almost all of the country now allowing us to see weather patterns and storm conditions not available only a short time ago.
The Indiana researcher who did extensive work on the previously critiqued Soft Spot Opening review also did extensive work on what is believed to be related phenomena he came across during his research. As part of his home page (www.softspotopening.com) are links to weather radar 'pictures 1 thru 6'. These links reference weather radar screen movement postings showing strange rings occurring in southern Indiana and in Kentucky/Tennessee. The researcher was able to publish this data in Flying Saucer Review which is linked at the bottom of the home page. This In order to better understand what may be occurring a review of radar and weather radar in particular would be helpful. NOAA operates the National Weather Service NEXRAD weather radar network. Details on the WSR-88D Doppler radar used in weather service are linked on the left bar. Specifications indicated the system operates at about 30 gHz with a 0.95 degree beamwidth. Doppler indicates the system can measure target velocities in the environment. The beam propgating out from the rotating antenna is elevation selectable above the horizon with a 5 degree minimum. All the radar 'images' in this review are at an antenna elevation of 5 degrees. While the beam is line-of-sight certain characteristics in the environment can vary or bend the beam as described in the image link at left under Limitations and Artifacts. Ground clutter is always picked up around the antenna for a number of miles depending upon the terrain; see Ground Clutter. Ground clutter is computer removed or minimized and is not normally seen on weather presentations.
The WSR-88D has two operational modes. A Clear Air mode is the most sensitive operation including slowest antenna rotation rate, increased receiver sensitivity and several volume coverage elevation patterns (VCP's). This mode gives the best ability to detect smaller objects in the atmosphere such as airborne dust, particulate matter and light snow. The second Precipitation mode
is not as sensitive as the Clear Air mode but sees higher in the atmosphere with two VCP's and takes less time. In Clear Air mode, radar images on the internet are updated approximately every ten minutes. In Precipitation mode, the updates will occur around five to six minutes apart. Extensive details may be found in the links on the left bar.
The following weather radar beam graphic provides an easy understanding for distance and height to the targets we look at below. A Simple high school trigonometry function shows that at 5 degrees elevation above the horizon, the beam would be centered at 46 feet (X) above the ground one statute mile (5,280 ft) from the antenna. This is assuming the terrain is level which of course it is not. Trees, hills, buildings and other objects will be along the path reflecting beam propgation and showing up as ground clutter on the system. At ten miles beam center will be 460 feet and 4,600 feet at 100 miles. This provides a reference by which elevation can be estimated on the following weather radar targets.
Please view the following web site for the information which follows:
Click on the following:
Picture 1 This is a large question image showing what can be described as five radar rings occurring simultaneously across southern Indiana. Image timing and other information is given on the right bar: Indianapolis August 2, 1996; beginning at 10:37 MGT, in ten minute segments to 11:37 MGT (60 minutes total). The image begins with a ring explosion 40 miles north of Louisville followed by one to the east near the tri-state junction. Then two more follow to the west. A fifth ring occurres just north of Louisville not shown in this picture. At total dimensions the rings are approximately 35 miles wide.
An Associated Press article by Steve Farr on this occurrence is linked at the bottom of the home page: First Article, Page 1 (Flying Saucer Review).
There are a number of explanations given in the article but nothing substantial which could account for the height and distance at which these rings occur. Interestingly they state they can track ducks and geese at 125 miles but how many birds (millions) would it take to make four rings each 35 miles across and 60 miles from the radar antenna? The skies across southern Indiana would be black with birds. See South Carolina purple martin study below.
Picture 2 This is the same image as Picture 1 but smaller, showing the fifth Louisville ring and lasting for 90 minutes. Also other surrounding weather patterns are shown.
Picture 3 Louisville radar August 2, 1996 showing three rings. This image shows six rings which occur near the researchers reported Soft Spot opening event for which this investigation was done.
Picture 4 Louisville radar August 2, 1996. See information for this picture.
Picture 5 Nashville radar August 2, 1996. Still picture showing sixth ring. See information for this picture.
Picture 6 Nashville radar August 2, 1996. Moving picture shows sixth ring.
Based on the size of the rings the targets would be flying at over 1,800 feet in the above images. There is some validity to the explanations given in the article for these rings; i.e. birds, bats etc. For the most part those quoted gave different explanations as to what the rings were. The links at left give some explanations and graphics in relation to bird migration patterns. The 'ring' type radar presentations do occur but some of the pattern explanations are difficult to rationalize. Its interesting to note bird flights can be up to 20,000 feet for trans-gulf migration according to the data given. The Green Bay link shows birds leaving Green Island in a dispensing ring expanding out to a diameter to approximately 20 miles. The ring dissipates first in the direction of the radar antenna indicating the flock has moved above the radar beam. Then the remainder of the ring uniformly dissipates at 20 miles indicating the flock is below the radar beam at the greater distance. The initial center of this ring when it occurs is just east-southeast of Menominee, Michigan where a small island can be found just south of the Wisconsin line. The flock can be track to totally dissipate at 16 to 20 miles. Total time for the eight-image presentation is 50 minutes. Ground and other clutter is extensive and the Sun beam is right on time in the image.
The Green Bay graphic leads to an interesting South Carolina science report
paper on Purple Martin roosting habits. The report 'Weather surveillance radar quantification of roosting purple martins in South Carolina' is an extremely well done and very interesting. This research itself is not the subject of this critique but rather the use and presentation of radar at the long ranges used in this particular study. The study done at Lake Murray is linked to several web sites on the left bar.
The CUROL website provides considerable information on radar and bird flight patterns. Under the WSR-88D menu, 'Birds on NEXRAD', two pages are of interest. Under migrating birds they describe why a doughnut-shaped" pattern or ring occurs with bird flocks in-flight given the radar characteristics in one mode of its operation. The statement 'no reflectors were detected by the radar near to or far from the NEXRAD. This results in a "doughnut-shaped" pattern on the radar scan' is a statement that's not bothered to be explained (for a flock of birds in flight). It basically infers there are some strange abnormalities going on. The graphic above the statement gives a presentation of the birds, the radar beam and the strange radar reflection abnormalities. The indication is some birds closer to the radar are not even detected as are birds further down range. Birds detected are those at the first thickness of the flock and those at the upper thickness of the flock. Strangely birds in the center of the flock are not detected or have no reflectance back to the radar. In indication is the bird flock is thick and birds should be evenly distributed throughout the flock as the altitude-density graphic shows. Please note that the NEXRAD altitude graphic supports our above radar beam graphic at 100 miles
The hole that shows up as a ring is then indicated to be an artifact of the radar signal pulse width and perhaps pulse energy scatter. That this is fact is not substantiated in any of the radar data links found. Birds fore sure should present a different presentation on radar at altitude but as a ring? The bird pattern ring is much easier understood when applied to the early morning flight and dispense pattern roost rings such as the Green Island data above and on the roost rings page under 'Birds on NEXRAD'. The nine roost ring animation presented there are probably much more representative of what the radar would display. There are other pages on the CUROL site which support this.
The Lake Murray study graphics are shown on the Lake Murray Radar Presentations link. That study gave six images showing an expanding ring pattern with radar image to map comparison showing an average of ring size.. The first image shows the early morning beginning flight movements over Launch Island. The second and third images show the continuing movement and expansion into a ring as the birds move out. The map and circle to the right give an approximate relationship of the ring to the size of state of South Carolina. The ring in the second image has a diameter of approximately 8 to 10 miles over the Launch Island area. Image 3 shows the ring expanded to approximately 15 miles. To this point these images are in keeping of the Green Island roost ring reviewed above.
Here however comes the inconsistency in this study. In the research paper the fourth through six images are stated as be taken two weeks before images one through three. The fourth through six images are stated as be taken two weeks before images one through three. Image 4 does not follow image 3 in the study. Image four shows a diameter of 45 miles closer in size to those sighted above appearing over southern Indiana. Image 5 shows an even larger ring expanding to approximately 65 miles. Interestingly this image appears on the radar page of UWSP studies of roosting birds. Finally image 6 shows the ring dispersing at a diameter of 90 miles.
The transpose from image 3 to image 4 is shows a 1:3 ring size factor increase, the largest increase between all images. Converting the implications here indicates that the birds are at the following distances flying at the following indicated altitude:
Image 4 45 miles 2,067 feet
Image 5 65 miles 2,402 feet
Image 6 90 miles 4,134 feet
While some birds may be capable of flying at these altitudes it is a real stretch to assign this capability to Purple Martins. Virtually 25 percent of the skies of South Carolina would be covered with birds. That however is what the naturalist are asking us to believe. Reflecting such a scenario back to the data given for the five rings in southern Indiana would indicated the skies in southern part of the state would almost be covered by birds.
Other smaller radar ring or roost ring occurrences may be found on the internet. The link 'roosting behavior of Starlings' on the left bar list data for Starlings which is in keeping with the Green Island and the first part of the Lake Murray data above. This is interesting data and shows that indeed bird roost rings probably occur all over the world and is a phenomenon of nature within the capabilities of the of the natural habits of birds.
The question remains on the nature and origin of the larger rings which are extensively beyond the capabilities of small birds. Radar rings it turns out is a phenomenon for which extensive data can be found, some of it over ten years old. The link Rings Over the Heartland is perhaps the most telling. While the originator is anonymous the information appears to be written by a weather radar professional, one who has been looking at a radar screen for three years. Describe are images are perfect rings appearing over the Midwest in March, 1998. They are described as appearing on several occasions with different patterns with up to 5 circles at one time, equal distant apart. References are made to scalar waves and to the K-Index but the links are outdated. The writer notes X-Ray flux plot tie-in to these radar rings. The writer on this web site was obviously mystified in 1998. The flash radar archives also provides a relative extensive series of radar ring graphics from across the United States. The K-Index is a geomagnetic storm indicator plotted by NOAA.
One note on some of the images referenced. Many ring images show a well defined outer edge. Almost doughnut shaped, these rings are more local test related than actual atmosphere occurrences. Specific test equipment is used to inject echoes externally into radar systems as methods to check the operation of a system. In a live revolving system doughnut images then occur. Admittedly these types of data should not appear on an operating system but they apparently do. They are mainly used to test receiver/data handling on the systems. Test systems are also used to test radar energy pulse spectrums and power output.
There are numerous anomalies with weather radar some associated with birds, malfunctions and system adjustments. The NEXRAD left bar links give some anomaly occurrences. Also a debunking of radar rings from the late 1990's Enterprisemission web site page which theorized radar rings to be one of interconnected anomalous events associated with among other things exotic conspiracies.
Scalar waves may tie to neutrinos and be formed by electromagnetic energy (standing waves) with implications for their origins. This tie's to the work of Nikola Tesla and in doing so gives some pretty heavy implications. The scientific approach to scalar waves address the basic make up of the universe at its deeps understanding. Other concepts of scalar science address applications which can be unnerving if they actually exist (reference Scalar EM Weapons). While such may or may not be the case, in general, research findings and its practical application are two different things. It's doubtful they exist as described but are more probable past research which gives led to such concepts. For instances the search for alternate dimensions using partial accelerators. Alternate dimensions is a common concept is science and relates to concepts of String Theory and a multitude of related concepts such as Scalars.
As we have been describing in this multiple discipline approach there is data which points to a number of strange existences which are above our day to day existence. Existences such as constable's critters, soft spot openings and radar rings are a hard buy but there is data which supports their existence.