Bright Bands

  • Are generated as snow falls through the melting level
  • Just below the melting level, snow acquires a coat of water, so it looks like a big rain drop
  • So, the radar sees "big rain drops" in the "bright band".
  • Also keep in mind that the complex dielectric factors for rain and snow are much different:

Water - |K|2 = 0.93

Ice - |K|2 = 0.197

Bright bands are common in stratiform regions

Here is a great example in a PPI

Here is a great example in an RHI

Test your knowledge - where is the bright band in this image?