National Weather Service upgrades radar network

Written by Craig Layne and Radio Pennsylvania | Apr 29, 2013 4:06 AM

(State College) -- The National Weather Service has completed an upgrade of its radar network.

The NWS has spent two years improving its Doppler radar network across the country.

The new radar sends vertical and horizontal pulses, helping distinguish between rain, snow, hail and non-weather objects.

The old units used only horizontal puleses.

Richard Grumm is a scientific operations officer at the weather service in State College.

He says the new system should provide better warnings for severe weather.

"Over the long term, this should help us improve how we estimate rainfall and potential for heavy rain and flash flooding," Grumm says.

He says the commonwealth's mountains can still pose some problems for radar, but the new system should be better for catching threats like tornadoes.

Pennsylvania is covered by the new radar at NWS offices in State College, Pittsburgh and Mount Holly, N.J.

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