National Weather Service Radar Shutdown for Upgrades
There`s no shortage of high tech equipment on the National Weather Service property in Mount Joy.
“Houses what’s called the clystron. The clystron is the piece of equipment that generates the radar wave,” says Ray Wolf of the National Weather Service.
But right now contractors are giving the site`s radar equipment a serious upgrade.
“This is probably the biggest upgrade to the radar hardware since it went in 1995,” says Wolf.
In layman’s terms the radar will soon be sending out waves on a horizontal and vertical axis. For the last 15 years they’ve only been operating with horizontal waves.
“That will allow us to see a little bit more about the shape of the objects it hits, rain drops, snow, hail, or even debris from a tornado,” he adds.
The upgrade means the National Weather Service will be more accurate with their forecasts as well as watches and warnings. The upgrade also means the radar will be off line for another week and a half or so. The plan is to have the new and improved hardware up and running a head of the severe weather season. Expectations are high, and when this office made an upgrade of this magnitude over 15 years ago things turned out better than expected.
“We had a lot of expectations about what it would show and we found out that once it was fielded that we actually well exceeded expectations,” says Wolf.