MARYLAND HEIGHTS, Mo. – The St. Louis area experienced two destructive tornado outbreaks during the last three months of 2021. Extreme Weather Specialist Chris Higgins showcases the technology that allowed us to confidently track those tornadoes, even in the darkness of night.

The Tornado Debris Signature is something that is fairly new to the science of meteorology. It only became possible with the rollout of dual-polarized Doppler radars over the past decade.

Kevin Deitsch is the Warning Coordination Meteorologist at the National Weather Service office in Weldon Spring. He says the dual-polarized data was especially helpful during the last two outbreaks because they both occurred at night.

“It’s crucial because it allows us to confirm tornadoes without actual reports from somebody on the ground. Obviously, we love our spotters and need our spotters but at nighttime, it is just hard to see these things,”…

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