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New radar is here

August 13, 2012

  We have a new radar. The Chanhassen office of the National Weather Service (NWS) just finished its upgrade to Dual-Polarization radar. I spoke with Craig Edwards today. He is the former Meteorologist in Charge of the Chanhassen NWS office, and is semi-retired…currently working as game-day onsite meteorologist for the Minnesota Twins. He mentioned that this is the first major upgrade to NWS radar since the move to Doppler radar capabilities in 1994.

   What will the new radar do? Here are some benefits of Dual-Polarization radar, from the NWS web site ( :

       Better estimation of total precipitation amounts

       Better estimation of the size distribution of hydrometeors (raindrops, snowflakes, hailstones, drizzle)

       Much improved ability to identify areas of extremely heavy rainfall that are closely linked with flash floods

       Improved detection and mitigation of non-weather related radar echoes (chaff, smoke plumes, ground clutter)

       Easier identification of the melting layer (helpful for identifying snow levels in higher terrain)

       Improved ability to classify precipitation type

    Many new radar products are now available to meteorologists and the public. I’m glad that the upgrade is here!

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