Radar To Boost Weather Awareness

Wednesday, April 2nd 2008, 5:25 pm
By: News On 6

A powerful Green Country radar will soon give meteorologists another tool to keep us safe.  The National Weather Service will get access to a radar in Broken Arrow that gives faster updates during severe storms.  News On 6 Chief Meteorologist Travis Meyer reports the radar has been running for a decade, but in less than a month more forecasters will be able use it.

The radar sits behind a Broken Arrow industrial park near Aspen and 61st Street. It's been used by the FAA since the mid-90's looking for wind shears or other dangers over Tulsa International Airport.

"It was initially scanning just back and forth over the airport. But now they're letting it rotate the full 360 degrees like conventional weather radar that people are used to seeing," said Steve Piltz, National Weather Service.

Beginning April 30th, the Doppler radar will be one more tool for meteorologists at the National Weather Service.

"Well, it's another radar beam in the sky that we have access to, it's another chance to catch a storm. Some storms are pretty easy to forecast and you can see it happen, other storms happen quickly with limited warning. So this is one more chance to catch those short warnings, where maybe we can get a few minutes warning...where maybe otherwise we might not of," said Piltz.

The radar is also faster than the other two used by the National Weather Service.  It's able to scan a storm from top to bottom more than twice the speed of the other radars, giving meteorologist an update every minute.

"The beam will be a little bit smaller. It'll actually send out energy a little bit faster and so we'll be able to see the atmosphere in smaller pieces which helps us piece together the really small storms that could happen with very little warning," said Piltz.

Find more stories on NewsOn6.com's Local News page.