Weather Blog

New coastal radar turned on, now in testing phase

New coastal radar turned on, now in testing phase
The new coastal radar dome is seen after its installation on Friday, May 27, 2011. (Photo: National Weather Service)

Christmas is still several months away but for local meteorologists, you might as well start the carols as our biggest gift in ages is about to be unwrapped.

The National Weather Service announced Monday that they have turned on our new fancy radar on the Washington coast and have begun testing its output.

For instance, right now it's testing how to survive boredom since rain hasn't been seen around here for days and isn't expected to return for at least the next week. But technicians will use this time to calibrate the radar components and check its data quality. Then next month, they'll slap on the new "dual-polarization" technology, finish off the testing, and officially declare it good to go on Sept. 30.

So when the weather outside is frightful, the mood among meteorologists will surely be delightful :)

You can get the latest information on the radar from the National Weather Service while UW professor Cliff Mass is also keeping tabs and updates on his site. The radar will be the first in the nation to offer newer technology that will allow us to better see the type of precipitation in storms, and will also solve the years-long problem forecasters have had in seeing what's going on behind the Olympic Mountains.