Ask Heather - open circle on the radar

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Have you ever seen an open circle on the weather radar, but there's rain all around it? Heather explains the cone of silence, and we're not talking about Get Smart.

Alexandria Carli asked Heather on Facebook why sometimes there is a empty circle over the radar site, when it’s raining all around?

It’s actually called the “Cone of Silence” and no I’m not talking about the Get Smart dome that keeps others from hearing your conversations! But this should help you remember the name.

The radar functions by sending signals out to the sides, in a circle. You see in the form of sweeping lines on the Local 8 New Pinpoint Doppler Radar. But, it cannot scan straight up. That results in the what looks like a blank circle over the radar site.

If you have a weather-related question, feel free to Ask Heather! You can use the form on the weather page, or like her Facebook page and ask her online.

Join the Conversation!

To comment, the following rules must be followed:

  • No Obscenity, Profanity, Vulgarity, Racism or Violent Descriptions
  • No Negative Community Comparisons
  • No Fighting, Name-calling, or Personal Attacks
  • Multiple Accounts are Not Allowed
  • Stay on Story Topic

Comments may be monitored for inappropriate content, but the station is under no legal obligation to do so.
If you believe a comment violates the above rules, please use the Flagging Tool to alert a Moderator.
Flagging does not guarantee removal.

Multiple violations may result in account suspension.
Decisions to suspend or unsuspend accounts are made by Station Moderators.
Links require admin approval before posting.
Questions may be sent to Please provide detailed information.

powered by Disqus


6450 Papermill Drive Knoxville, TN 37919 Phone - (865) 450-8888; Fax - (865) 450-8869
Copyright © 2014 WVLT-TV Inc. - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 265515511 -
Gray Television, Inc.