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COLUMN: Weather service radars get high-tech upgrades

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Posted: Monday, March 14, 2011 8:30 am | Updated: 5:29 pm, Thu Dec 27, 2012.

NEXRAD is getting major upgrade. The National Weather Service’s network of 169 high-resolution, high-power Doppler radars is being upgraded to dual polarization. Vance Air Force Base in Enid, Okla., was the first operational radar upgraded to “dual-pol” earlier this month. The rest of the NEXRADs will be upgraded in the next two years, including the NEXRAD radars in Columbia and Wilmington, N.C.

Dual polarization will make a huge difference in being able to determine what type of precipitation is falling out of the clouds, and will be able to identify other objects in the sky other than rain, ice and snow.

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