Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
4/4/2012 7:39 AM
has announced that its ESP:LIVE severe weather system has been enhanced to support new dual-polarization weather radar technology. This new presentation tool allows precise detection of damaging hail, debris in tornadoes, improved flash flood warnings and accurate identification of winter precipitation.
Hyper-local mapping, the most advanced storm tracking algorithms, interactive data display capability and a suite of exclusive tools enable meteorologists using the new system to give viewers what they need during severe weather. The National Weather Service is currently deploying dual-polarization radar throughout the U.S.
“Informing and protecting viewers from severe weather is one of a broadcaster’s most vital functions,” said Bill Boss, vice president of Media Solutions at Weather Central. “Audiences are incredibly loyal to broadcasters who give them accurate, immediate information that they can act on. Dual-pol radar adds even greater depth to the industry’s leading radar display toolset.”
Dual polarization technology transmits and receives energy in the vertical plane, providing a two‐dimensional picture of what type of precipitation is actually out there. Current radars give forecasters a rough idea of how intense precipitation is, which way it is moving and how fast, but provides very little information on precipitation type.
Dual polarization technology also adds new information about the size and shape of an object. With this, forecasters can clearly identify rain, hail, snow or ice pellets. This gives forecasters more confidence to accurately assess weather events because they have more information to forecast the type of precipitation and a better idea of how much to expect.
Other enhancements to ESP:LIVE include X-Vision data, which enables meteorologists to present vertical slices of a storm’s structure in 3D and animate the slices over time to show storm details in new ways. Also, radar display technology includes velocity scope for live radar and looping level 2 data.
The system also includes display of Terminal Doppler Weather Radar (TDWR). These radars provide higher resolution and more rapidly updating radar data near major metropolitan airports for faster severe weather warnings. There’s also integrated posting to a station’s Facebook and Twitter pages. The new system will be shown at the upcoming NAB show in Las Vegas.