New Technology Will Improve Local Weather Forecasts and Warnings
Washington, DC — The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced today that the National Weather Service’s Forecast Offices in Gray/Portland and Caribou now have an upgraded Doppler radar with a new life-saving technology. Dual-polarization or “dual-pol” radar provides meteorologists with enhanced information about the atmosphere so that they can more accurately track, assess and warn the public of approaching high-impact weather.
The upgrade to dual-pol technology is the most significant enhancement made to the nation’s NEXRAD radar network since Doppler radar was first installed in the early 1990s. The upgrade includes a hardware attachment to the radar dish which now sends and receives both horizontal and vertical pulses, and also new software to processes the information. The new radar will provide much more information about the size, shape, density, and intensity of the precipitation in the clouds.
According to Hendricus Lulofs, meteorologist-in-charge, Gray/Portland forecast office, “The new dual-pol technology will allow forecasters to determine the type of precipitation in the sky. In the summer, we’ll be able to use this technology to distinguish heavy rain from hail, which will allow us to issue better warnings for severe weather. In the winter, it will help us distinguish the types of precipitation falling across the area, which can often be challenging in northern New England.”
Cross fingers and go!
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