The Dual Polarization radar upgrade began November 7 and is finally complete! We would like to thank everybody for their patience as we went through this lengthy upgrade.
The National Weather Service (NWS) Doppler radar located near Gaylord has been upgraded with the latest "Dual Polarization" technology. Dual Polarization radar technology can better detect heavy rainfall in flooding events, improve hail detection in thunderstorms, and more accurately classify precipitation types (such as rain, snow, and ice). It can also detect the presence of airborne tornado debris, giving forecasters greater confidence that a damaging tornado is occurring.
Installation of Dual Polarization technology in all 122 National Weather Service radars is expected to be completed by 2013.
How does Dual Polarization work?
Current NWS Doppler Radar New Dual Polarization Radar
Current NWS Doppler Radar
New Dual Polarization Radar
The older version of NWS Doppler Radars transmit and receive pulses of radio waves in a horizontal orientation. As a result, the radar only measures the horizontal dimensions of targets (e.g. cloud and precipitation droplets). The new Dual Polarization radar transmits and receives pulses in both a horizontal and vertical orientation. Therefore, the radar measures both the horizontal and vertical dimensions of targets. Since the radar receives energy from horizontal and vertical pulses, we can obtain better estimates of the size, shape, and variety of targets (both meteorological and non-meteorological).
This is the most significant upgrade to the nation’s weather radar network since Doppler radar was first installed in the early 1990s,” said Jack Hayes, Director of NOAA’s 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.”
“This radar upgrade will provide our team of local meteorologists with improved information about precipitation type and intensity," said Bruce Smith, Meteorologist-in-Charge of the Gaylord National Weather Service Forecast Office. "This will result in more accurate short term forecasts and warnings."
How can you learn more?
NOAA's 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. NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources.