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Name: Gordon
Status: educator
Grade: N/A
Location: Outside U.S.
Country: United Kingdom
Date: Summer 2011


Question:
Cloud radar images show a scale of dBZ between +40 and -40. What are dBZ and what is their significance? Thank you.


Replies:
It is a weather of equivalent reflectivity (Z) of a radar signal reflected off a cloud. dBZ stands for decibels of Z. The reference level for Z is 1 micrometer 3. It is related to the number of drops per unit volume and the drop diameter.

Nathan A. Unterman


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