Weather Radars Get $43 Million Upgrade

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Forecasters will be able to see the size, type and intensity of precipitation much more accurately after a system-wide upgrade of NEXRAD radars. Baron Services, an affiliate of WxWorx, and L-3 Communications were awarded the $43 million deal to upgrade 171 weather radars with something called dual-polarization Doppler capability. According to WxWorks, the new capability will allow forecasters to predict snowfall amounts and even events like flash floods with more accuracy.

Most radars emit a single horizontal scan beam but the new systems will emit both horizontal and vertical beams, which provide twice as much information. This allows the gear to show not only where precipitation is falling, but how much and how big it is, which WxWorx says forecasters can use to more accurately predict the weather. The upgrades will occur over the next five years.