The newly-installed radar technology at the National Weather Service office in Peachtree City will provide much better live data on potentially deadly and dangerous storms, according to Meteorologist in Charge Lans Rothfusz.
The technology is detailed enough to show tornado debris in addition to the various types of droplets inside clouds and thunderstorms, Rothfusz said.
The new radar system will make it easier to identify a storm that is capable of producing tornados, increasing the speed with which a tornado warning can be issued, Rothfusz said.
That in turn has the capability of saving lives, as the difference from being caught up in a tornado and seeking appropriate shelter can be mere seconds.
The new radar provides much more detail on the size and type of precipitation from snow to sleet to rain and everything in-between, Rothfusz said.
During winter weather, dual polarization radar can tell the difference between rain, snow and ice, which gives forecasters a much better idea of what type of precipitation to expect at the ground.
“Being able to get inside that storm is going to be important for us,” Rothfusz said, noting that the radar can also detect even small hailstones.
The enhanced precipitation monitoring can also lead to much improved rainfall estimate amounts, which is crucial to the flood monitoring mission of the NWS office, Rothfusz said.
The new radar will give NWS “much better accuracy in that regard,” Rothfusz said.
While the new radar has a smaller range of 75 nautical miles, the traditional radar is also still in use with its typical 125-mile range, Rothfusz said.
The NWS office in Peachtree City covers counties in north and central Georgia, operating the most advanced weather and flood warning/forecast system in the world.