Print Version

The following links provide access to each signature in a printable format:


Welcome: This resource is intended for use as a job aid by operational weather forecasters in live warning situations and as a reference tool to better understand some aspects of severe thunderstorm warning events.

Thumbnail images on this page show typical representatives for sixteen radar reflectivity and velocity signatures as well as three primary severe storm types. Each signature is seen as a proxy for thunderstorm severity, and is initially identified through pattern recognition skills.

Note that the majority of the examples used are Australian. Examples from the northern hemisphere are noted within a signature's description.

elect one of the signatures; each is presented in three sections. The Detection section provides confidence that you have indeed identified a certain signature on your radar display. Equipped with such confidence, the Conceptual Model section aims to impart background knowledge on how the signature might have formed and how it relates to other processes and elements within a severe thunderstom. The Diagnosis section provides some guidance on how "severe" or "strong" your specific signature might be within the range of all possible signatures of its kind.

All sixteen signatures shown in this resource can be attributed to at least one of three generic storm types. Overviews of each of these storm archetypes are contained in the Storm Types Conceptual Models.