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Sunday, 17 November

New Project on Today's Radar

A new state-of-the-art radar is replaced the former weather radar at Dean Hill in Wiltshire during Friday February 24. Heavy lifting gear was being used to crane the radar into position on top of its 22 metre tower.

Due to scientific advances the new radar can, for the first time, capture the size and shape of raindrops and snowflakes. This will lead to improvements in accuracy of rainfall estimates, particularly during high impact weather events and is the latest step by the Met Office to upgrade its 30 year old Radar Network. The network is one of the longest established radar networks of its kind in the world and consists of 15 radars across the UK.

The new radar has also begun to capture wind speed measurements. The Doppler technique, using changes in frequency of the radar signal, is used to estimate wind speed and direction when it is raining.

The upgrade of Dean Hill weather radar is a joint venture between the Met Office Public Weather Service and the Environment Agency. The new radar system was developed in-house by Met Office engineers, combining world-leading hardware with unparalleled levels of skill and expertise.   Wherever possible equipment was sourced locally ensuring the project, while cost effective, also supported the local economy.

The introduction of this ‘state of the art’ radar technology will help the Met Office to respond to present and future customer requirements. The solution also brought cost-savings as technology was developed in-house and is more efficient to operate.

The Met Office Weather Radar Network Renewal project is ensuring the organisation continues to play a role in providing governments, public and commercial customers with timely and essential weather forecast and real time weather information.

The new solution is based on ‘Open System Architecture’, which makes it more flexible than the previous network and more adaptable and easier to upgrade in the future as radar technology continues to develop.

Picture: The Met Office is on the radar

 

Article written by Brian Shillibeer

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