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OK, Now I Feel Worse Again…

November 3, 2013

The Incidence of Autism in Olmsted County, Minnesota, 1976-1997 Results From a Population-Based Study

Results  The age-adjusted incidence of research-identified autism was 5.5 (95% confidence interval, 1.4-9.5) per 100 000 chidren from 1980 to 1983 and 44.9 (95% confidence interval, 32.9-56.9) from 1995 to 1997 (8.2-fold increase). This increase was confined to children younger than 10 years who were born after 1987.

Autism Incident Rate

Age-specific (A) and birth cohort–specific (B) incidence of research-identified autism among residents of Olmsted County, Minnesota, between 1976 and 1997. B, There is a separate line for each birth cohort. The birth cohorts overlap, since intervals were used for age and the year a child met the criteria. For example, a child who met the criteria at age 1 to 3 years from 1986 to 1988 could have been born between 1982 and 1987, whereas a child who met the criteria at age 1 to 3 years from 1989 to 1991 could have been born between 1985 and 1990.

And below is when the three Doppler radars went online in the surrounding area:

Metadata   /   Coverage Map

Period of Record (Testing/startup done prior to recording date:)

Level-II: 05/30/1995 to 11/02/2013 
Level-III: 08/07/1995 to 10/31/2013 

Metadata   /   Coverage Map

Period of Record:

Level-II: 07/08/1996 to 11/02/2013 
Level-III: 09/04/1996 to 10/31/2013 

TDWR Radar Tower(1)

The Terminal Doppler Weather Radar (TDWR) program was initiated in the mid-1980s to develop a reliable automated Doppler-radar-based system for detecting weather hazards in the airport terminal area and for providing warnings that will help pilots avoid these hazards when landing and departing. This article describes refinements made to the TDWRsystem since 1988, based on subsequent Lincoln Laboratory testing in Kansas City, Missouri, and Orlando, Florida. During that time, Lincoln Laboratory developed new capabilities for the system such as the integration ofwarnings from TDWR and the Low Level Wind Shear Alert System (LLWAS). Extensive testing with the Lincoln Laboratory TDWR testbed system has reconfirmed the safety
benefits of TDWR…??  I could not find any biological testing done in surroundings, I am glad now I did not go to MIT.

Also, concerns over radiation effects were a factor at several other sites. Indeed, a recent airplane crash at Charlotte International Airport in North Carolina highlighted the problems, and politics, that can arise in obtaining TDWR sites (The New York Times, 25 July 1994, p. A19, and The Washington Post, 7 July 1994, p. A3). Although TDWR radiation is typically 50 dB below the ANSI maximum permissible level and less than existing local TV radiation levels, concern over such radiation was often voiced at local information hearings. Lincoln Laboratory provided technical support to the FAA in addressing these issues at a number of hearings
TDWR Installation Map 1995

Status in 1994, they were also sending a portable radar unit around to test each location, irradiating the surroundings in 1993-1994 timeframe

Attenuation problems

The most serious drawback to using the TDWRs is the attenuation of the signal due to heavy precipitation falling near the radar. Since the TDWRs use the shorter 5 cm wavelength, which is closer to the size of a raindrop than the 10 cm wavelength used by the traditional WSR-88Ds, the TDWR beam is more easily absorbed and scattered away [THROUGH YOUR HEAD?]by precipitation. This attenuation means that the radar cannot “see” very far through heavy rain.


I wonder if the Autism rate is higher where those radar coverages overlap? Sort of like the ghostbusters crossing the streams…

The date of those three Doppler towers going online CORRESPONDS with the spike in Autism in the youngest children in 1995 and 1996 in Minnesota.  I consider that actionable intelligence.  Since it is late, I think I will at least neutralize one of the targets with the App my 11 year old slightly quirky Aspergery/ASDish gifted son gave me…

Godspeed to you all.

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