National Weather Service gets radar technology upgrade - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

National Weather Service gets radar technology upgrade


SULLIVAN (WKOW) -- A recent radar upgrade at the National Weather Service will help meteorologists there better track storms.

The dual polarization technology was built into the Milwaukee/Sullivan office last week.

"It's a significant increase and it gives us a tremendous amount of new information," said Rusty Kapela, Warning Coordination Meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

Kapela said their meteorologists are still learning the technology, but are excited to work with the new system.

According to the National Weather Service, dual polarization technology will help them tell what kind of precipitation is happening, how intense it is and where it's moving.

"What that means for you and everyone else out there is that we'll be able to issue with higher level of confidence a flash flood warning," Kapela said.

As for tornadoes, the National Weather Service said the technology helps detect when a tornado has formed.

Kapela said, "Even though we're not getting spotter reports, we know a tornado is going through that area. The new system won't help issue tornado warnings faster, but will confirm that a damaging tornado is on the ground.

The upgrade cost roughly $225,000 to install. The National Weather Service plans to install 160 radars across the U.S. and five overseas from now until the summer 2013.

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