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Dual polarity radar providing better weather picture

By: Matthew Rand Email
By: Matthew Rand Email

JACKSON, Ky. (WYMT) - The latest technology is helping forecasters at the National Weather Service in Jackson get a better picture of the next big storm.

The National Weather Service is in the process of upgrading its nationwide weather grid to what's called "dual polarity" radar.

Dual polarity radar works by sending out vertical radar pulses on top of the horizontal pulses in traditional radar. This gives meteorologists a better picture of rain, snow, and other particles suspended in the atmosphere. That can be useful in detecting tornados on the ground.

"Now, because we can see the actual particles or pieces that make up that debris ball, it helps us to confirm that there's for example there's a tornado on the ground that's actually causing damage," said meteorologist Ed Ray.

Ray says the March 2nd tornados were large enough to see on the old radar system, but the new technology will help spot smaller storms.


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