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New Radar Helps Forecasters Predict Severe Weather More Accurately

When severe weather strikes, advanced warning is everything, because that is what largely determines if you are able to get out of the way or not, preventing injury or loss of life, or if you are able to properly prepare your home, which prevents destruction of valuables due to water damage.

During the spring and early summer months, severe weather systems blow up out of nowhere, with surprising rapidity, and with a seemingly random appearance and occurrence. Forecasting these storms requires meteorologists to stay on their toes, continuously monitoring rapidly changing weather conditions in an effort to provider viewers and listeners with the most up to date forecast possible. This becomes doubly difficult when the forecast may quite literally be changing by the minute.

Thanks to a new meteorological advancement, severe weather may soon be forecast even sooner than normal, increasing preparation time for those in its path.

The National Weather Service now has a new radar that can allow for faster dissemination of data, allowing for both horizontal and vertical views of torrential rain events. It is called “dual pol” technology, which is short for dual polarization, and it allows for a 3-D view of all conditions occurring within and around a storm cloud.

Dual pol radars send out two separate pulses to gather a cross section of the storm particles, and they use three different pieces of data to decide the severity of the storm. This allows for a much faster determination of exactly what kind of storm is being dealt with, and provides for much more detailed information to be passed on to the public.

Many severe storms can be hard to forecast because their duration is so brief. With dual pol it will be much easier to let people know what they can expect from a given storm system, even if that system is short lived. For example, hail has profoundly different effects than rain, but both show up almost identically on traditional radar. Dual Pol will be able to differentiate between the two. The end result is that the public finds out about storms more quickly and has time to protect their family from danger and their homes from water damage.

Dual pol systems have already been credited with saving lives, and by the end of the year, the technology should be in use nationwide.

For emergency disaster recovery, contact your local water damage restoration company.

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