North Dakota Weather Radar Getting Major Upgrade

March 26, 2012

A National Weather Service Doppler radar in Mayville, N.D., is scheduled for its first major upgrade in June.

WDAY television reports that the installation of dual-polarization Doppler is part of a $50 million upgrade to radar systems nationwide.

The major advantage is the ability to distinguish the shape and size of objects in the air. Forecasters say it can help them predict flash floods and determine the difference between rain and snow when it is near 32 degrees.

The current system can reveal strong rotation in the air, but forecasters are unable to tell if a tornado is touching down without storm spotters.

Last month, forecasters in Missouri used dual-polarization Doppler to identify airborne tornado debris near Branson and were able to confirm that a tornado was on the ground.

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