National Weather Service radar's are undergoing their biggest upgrade since Doppler radar was introduced over 20 years ago.
Now that Dual Polarization Doppler radar is scanning the skies, Tri-Staters have never been more covered when skies threaten.
"They also are changing out the receiver assembly and it's going to actually be up on the antenna," National Weather Services' Jeff Maurice said.
Severe weather is not a threat on this cold February Tri-State morning, but it's not days like these National Weather Service technicians are concerned about. They're preparing for the future.
"They've been installing them at all the radar sites around the country," Maurice said.
The conversion of 160 Doppler radar sites to Dual-Polarization, including one in Owensville, is nearly complete. The $50 million investment by the National Weather Service is already helping meteorologists by transmitting more information than ever before.
"It actually gives more data that the meteorologists can use during storms and during non-storm events," Maurice said.
Conventional Doppler radar sends out a beam horizontally to detect precipitation, but Dual-Polarization adds a vertical beam, giving forecasters a cross-section of storms. Dual pol better detects the size and type of particles the beam encounters, making it easier to determine rain, snow, hail and even tornado debris signatures.
Owensboro is one Tri-State community well aware of the danger of tornadoes, which is why 14 News partnered with Owensboro Health several years ago to offer he Tri-State's only Dual Doppler radars.
WFIE's second Doppler is located on top of the current hospital.
"It helps them take cover, helps them stay safe and that's what improving a healthy community is all about," said Gordon Wilkerson with Owensboro Health.
In the next few months, Owensboro Health will open their new hospital, and Dual Doppler will make the move, too.
"The Doppler, from what I understand, will be in place before the hospital opens on June 1, so it will be a seamless transition and ready to go," Wilkerson said.
So Dual Doppler will continue to scan the skies on both sides of the river in concert with the latest Dual-Polarization technology from the National Weather Service.
Dual Polarization radar has already proven very useful where the technology has been installed during both major winter storms and severe weather events.
14 Dual Doppler is in the process of being moved to the new Owensboro Health Hospital this week.
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