NORMAN, OK (TNN) - The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recently unveiled a new radar they say will help forecasters be able to see inside a thunderstorm and provide faster updates to the public.
The Advanced Technology Demonstrator (ATD) combines two types of weather radar already in use: Dual Polarized and Phased Array radars.
The combination of the two types of radars will allow forecasters at the National Weather Service office in Norman, Oklahoma to see what type of precipitation is falling, be it rain, hail, snow, sleet or any type of mixed precipitation.
It will also allow those forecasters to better spot air-born debris from tornadoes.
The biggest improvement to the new demonstration system is the speed at which forecasters can get updates. Currently, radars update about every five minutes. The demonstration system would allow for meteorologists to issue warnings faster, which would then result in the public having almost twice the amount of time to prepare for an approaching storm, according to Danny Wasielewski, Lead Project Engineer at NSSL.
“We are currently in the integration and test phase of the Advanced Technology Demonstrator," Wasielewski said. "Throughout the rest of this year we will be working on calibration and collecting preliminary weather data and hopefully by next year we’ll have a calibrated radar ready to be collecting good quality weather data.”
The hope is that in the long term, in 10 to 15 year timeline this technology might impact the next U.S. weather radar network.