Dual Polarization Radar Is Revolutionizing Weather Forecasting

Recent upgrades allow meteorologists to more accurately diagnose and forecast severe weather

Dual polarization radar has changed the way the First Alert Weather team forecasts and analyzes severe weather. The new technology was implemented recently and is one of the biggest upgrades to Doppler weather radar in years.

Dual polarization radar sends out 2 pulses of energy – one in the horizontal and one in the vertical. This allows meteorologists to determine exactly what a radar beam is detecting. Now, with a high degree of certainty, meteorologists can distinguish between sleet, snow, and melting snow in the winter. In summer, signatures for large hail and tornado debris can result in a longer lead time with severe weather warnings. Believe it or not, our radar is now so sophisticated we can detect flocks of birds and swarms of insects.

During the Blizzard of 2013 the First Alert Weather team was able to diagnose the advancing sleet/snow line with such precision the location could be determined to within a mile. During severe thunderstorms this summer Live 3D Doppler Radar was able to detect lofted tornado debris from a storm outside of Albany, NY before the National Weather Service even issued a tornado warning. During an August hailstorm in New London County our team of meteorologists identified a dual polarization radar signature of large hail over one neighborhood in Ledyard. As it turned out, golf ball size hail was falling in a small portion of town near the Thames River.

New this winter is NBC Connecticut’s latest piece of technology – All Terrain One. AT-1 is a satellite truck that allows us to broadcast live in high definition from every corner of the state in almost any weather.

The First Alert Weather team has the tools to keep you prepared and protected like no one else.

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