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Vertically Integrated Liquid Water (VIL)
VIL is the amount of liquid water that the radar detects in a vertical column of the atmosphere for an area of precipitation. High values are associated with heavy rain or hail. VIL values are computed for each 2.2×2.2 nm grid box for each elevation angle within 124 nm radius of the radar, then vertically integrated. VIL units are in kilograms per square meter–the total mass of water above a given area of the surface. VIL is useful for:
- Finding the presence and approximate size of hail (used in conjunction with spotter reports). VIL is computed assuming that all the echoes are due to liquid water. Since hail has a much higher reflectivity than a rain drop, abnormally high VIL levels are typically indicative of hail.
- Locating the most significant thunderstorms or areas of possible heavy rainfall.
- Predicting the onset of wind damage. Rapid decreases in VIL values frequently indicate wind damage may be occurring.