MEMPHIS, TN--The Doppler Radar in Millington has been undergoing a major face lift. L3 Communication contractors have been working for over week upgrading the 15 year old radar to a Dual-Polarity radar. The Mid-South is one of the first out of more than 180 sites to get the upgrade. The revolutionary piece of technology will change the way meteorologists forecast because it will help paint a 3-D picture of a storm.
A Dual-Polarity radar sends out not only a horizontal beam into a cloud, but it will also sends out vertical pulses. The beams will reach out to 250 miles in diameter and will be able to “see” if precipitation is in the form of a raindrop, a piece of hail, or snow.
Jim Belles, National Weather Service Meteorologist, says, “It's really going to give us the opportunity to examine what type of precipitation it is, how heavy the rain is and whether we are dealing with large hail or not.”
The 30-foot dish inside the radar dome can also “see” debris from a tornado if one forms close enough to the radar site. This will help improve accuracy and confirmation of what is happening in a storm. The new radar should be completed and ready for use by the weekend.