Weekend Outbreak First Test for New Radar System

radarAs we’ve reported, there is a potential for severe weather to break out across Iowa on Saturday.  All modes of severe weather (large hail, strong winds and tornadoes) could develop during that time.  One thing that will be different this time around in central Iowa is the latest and greatest radar technology now deployed by the National Weather Service.  The agency has been rolling out the new radars across the country and last month, Des Moines got theirs.

It’s called Dual Polarization Radar and we’ve talked about it before (see our old articles on the technology by clicking here).  The new data allows forecasters to better look inside a storm.  New scans made available to meteorologists will also better detect rotation, the type of precip including whether or not hail is forming.  In fact, the new system is so good it can tell the difference between actual rain and swarms of birds or bugs that used to confuse traditional radar.

This new Dual-Pol technology has already been rolled out at other sites that cover parts of western and eastern Iowa as well.  Many of these radars will get a workout on Saturday as severe weather is expected to develop.   We’ll continue tracking the threat and will bring you updates and live video throughout the day on Saturday!

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