(Nov.3, 2011) – The National Weather Service forecast office in Amarillo, Texas has the distinction of being the first office in the Southern Region to install new dual polarization radar technology. The installation process is expected to last until mid-November. While the Amarillo radar is unavailable during the installation, the forecast office team can rely on neighboring radars in Lubbock, Texas; Clovis, N.M.; Pueblo, Colo.; Dodge City, Kan.; and Frederick, Okla.
"This is the most significant upgrade to our Doppler radar system since it was first installed in the 1990s," said Jose Garcia, meteorologist-in-charge of the Amarillo forecast office. "This new technology provides more information and clearer pictures of current weather conditions, helping our meteorologists provide more accurate and timely forecasts."
On October 25, the Amarillo office hosted a dual polarization workshop for media from the Amarillo and Lubbock markets, as well as local emergency managers. During this workshop, dual polarization radar experts provided training and advice on how to interrogate and communicate the new technology. Attendees were also given a tour of the Amarillo radome.
The Amarillo dual polarization installation is part of nationwide program involving all 122 National Weather Service forecast offices, with all of the upgrades scheduled to be completed by 2013. As individual radars are taken out of service, adjacent National Weather Service, U.S. Air Force and FAA weather radars will provide coverage. During this period, 38 Air Force and FAA radar systems will also be enhanced with dual polarization technology.
Dual polarization workshop attendees tour Amarillo radome (Photo: WFO Amarillo)