Contact: Mark Strobin For Immediate Release
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org June 7, 2013
Enhanced National Weather Service Radar Media Open House June 12 at 1 PM
The National Weather Service has improved its Doppler radar serving western Texas and southeastern New Mexico by installing the latest dual polarization technology. This technology will give forecasters better information about heavy rainfall in flooding events, hail detection in thunderstorms, and even recognize whether precipitation is in the form of rain, snow or ice.
On June 12, media representatives from stations across western Texas and southeastern New Mexico will meet at the National Weather Service forecast office in Midland for training on the new dual polarization technology. The training will help the media utilize this new technology to provide additional weather information to their viewers.
“This is the most significant upgrade to the nation’s weather radar network since Doppler radar was first installed in the early 1990s and is a significant step toward us becoming weather ready,” said Dr. Louis Uccellini, director of the National Weather Service. “Dual polarization technology provides significantly more information and clearer pictures of current weather conditions, helping National Weather Service meteorologists provide more accurate and timely forecasts.”
Currently, National Weather Service Doppler radars provide forecasters information on precipitation intensity and movement (direction and speed). Dual polarization technology adds new information about the size and shape of airborne objects, which will improve estimates of how much rain is falling, improving flash flood detection and warnings. During winter weather, dual polarization radar can tell the difference between rain, snow and ice, which gives forecasters a much better idea of what type of precipitation to expect at the ground.
Installation was completed at the beginning of April. During the upgrade, adjacent National Weather Service, Air Force, and Federal Aviation Administration weather radars provided coverage. Installation of dual polarization technology in all 122 National Weather Service radars was completed May 2013.
The National Weather Service is the primary source of weather data, forecasts and warnings for the United States and its territories. It operates the most advanced weather and flood warning and forecast system in the world, helping to protect lives and property and enhance the national economy. Working with partners, the National Weather Service is building a Weather-Ready Nation to support community resilience in the face of increasing vulnerability to extreme weather. Visit us online at weather.gov and on Facebook.
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