North Texas first region in US to get high-res weather radars

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by COLLEEN COYLE

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WFAA

Posted on February 12, 2014 at 1:08 PM

Updated Wednesday, Feb 12 at 5:17 PM

ADDISON –– Believe it or not, Addison's newest addition isn't a restaurant or a hotel –– it's a weather radar. 

Installed on the rooftop of the Addison Services Center Wednesday morning, the new radar is part of the Collaborative Adaptive Sensing of the Atmosphere initiative.

CASA is a network of radars that offers high resolution data that could aid in earlier warning of severe weather. The Dallas-Fort Worth Area is the first in the nation to have this cutting edge technology.

“What we’re hoping is that the North Texas area will be a model for us and a pilot so that other cities around the nation can actually deploy these radars and deploy networks of five or six radars together that will help keep them safe,” said CASA Co-Driector Brenda Phillips.

This was the fourth radar installation in North Texas. It joins one in Midlothian, one at the University of Texas at Arlington and one at the University of North Texas in Denton.

 “We plan to install a total of eight radars and we’re hoping to have five up and running by storm season this year so it will give great coverage of the area,” Phillips said.

Together, these small radars provide information quicker and with more detail. Radar scans are updated every minute. The radars are also located closer to the ground providing more comprehensive coverage. Current radar systems are mounted higher up, unable to see ground conditions in some areas.

CASA radar networks can also conduct smart scans.

“What happens is one radar knows what the other radar is looking at and the system picks the best radar to actually look at the system,” Phillips said.

With today’s installation, the system can now be activated in time for severe weather season.  Not only will these radars provide new data for meteorologists and forecasters, but it will help keep the 6.5 million people living in North Texas safer during severe weather.

A fifth radar should be installed in Fort Worth in March.

For more information about CASA and how to donate to new radar installations in your area, visit the CASA website.

Email ccoyle@wfaa.com

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