Why doesn’t weather radar display airplanes and other non-weather images?

Weather Blog

Dear Tom,
Why doesn’t weather radar display airplanes and other non-weather images?
—Bill Warren and family
Dear Bill and family,
Weather radar images are highly processed computer generated representations of the targets being scanned. Today’s images are digitized. That means computer “algorithms” have been developed to tell the radar what to display. Targets moving faster than typical weather features are eliminated. Ground clutter resulting from fixed objects like buildings are largely eliminated also. An image from the radar is captured on a precipitation-free day and stored. A computer cancels stationary features on images that follow. In addition, false echoes that result from temperature inversions, called anomalous propagation, are reduced or greatly eliminated.

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