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Published May 19, 2012, 09:20 PM

Mayville Doppler Radar gets Update

Mayville, ND (WDAY TV) -- Changes are coming to the way storms are tracked on Doppler Radar. The National Weather Service is upgrading Dopplers across the country, and this week, it's the Mayville radar's turn.

Changes are coming to the way storms are tracked on Doppler Radar. The National Weather Service is upgrading Dopplers across the country, and this week, it's the Mayville radar's turn.

With the current radar this beam is only in the horizontal. With the new radar called dual polarization or dual poll that wave will go out in both the vertical and horizontal.

The vertical component will allow a measurement of the size of rain or hail. This will give meteorologists a better picture of exactly what is falling out of the sky.

Greg Gust/National Weather Service: "Whether it's hail whether it's rain and how big, a wet hail stone shows up real loud on the radar and so it looks like a lot more water than is really there."

This means more accuracy for flash flooding events. And better warnings for thunderstorms with hail

Gust: "Right now we see big hail up in the top of the cloud, 40,000 ft up in the air, if it's falling through heavy rain, how much of that is going to survive."

And while dual-pole doppler doesn't drastically improve the ability to see most tornados for a few specific cases it will be a huge asset.

When tornados are rain wrapped or occur at night and cant be confirmed by spotters, the new dual pole will be better at picking up the actual debris being lifted into the air and that will lead to better warnings.

Gust: "So to actually put out radar confirmed tornado would be a possibility out of there."

And for winter weather the new doppler will offer better insight into the atmosphere as well.

John Wheeler/StormTRACKER Meteorologist: "Because it's able to tell the shape of the droplet or the snowflake, we'll be able to get a real good idea about where the differences in a winter storm between rain and snow, right now all we can do is estimate that based on ground temperatures."

This upgrade to the doppler is just one more tool in the ever expanding weather forecasting arsenal.

The Mayville doppler will be down for 5 or 6 days while the installation is taking place.

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