"WATCHING THE WEATHER TO PROTECT LIFE AND PROPERTY"


How to interpret the colors of the Radar Images on www.meteo.cw.



The radar images of MDC (Meteorological Department of Curacao) show the location of rain in relation to local features such as the coastline, with different colors. These colors are a result of the intensity reflection of the matter in the air. In technical terms this is referred to as reflectivity and is measured in dBZ. This is reflectivity can be converted to rainfall intensity (mm/Hr) using simple relations. However this a general guide, the reflectivity changes with the type of particles in the atmosphere (rain, snow, hailstones etc).

At MDC we combine this reflectivity product with other products to define a more accurate value for the translation from reflectivity to rainfall intensity. Those products are not available to the public due to the complexity of interpretation.

There are sixteen levels of rainfall intensity shown on the images - each level provides an approximate indication of the rainfall rate in millimeters per hour. The following values can be used as a general guide but as I already explained are not always accurate.