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New Approach to Tornado Forecasting Could Save Lives

Officials in the Dallas and Ft. Worth region are near completion of a deal with the Engineering Research Center for Collaborative Adaptive Sensing of the...
March 5, 2011

Officials in the Dallas and Ft. Worth region are near completion of a deal with the Engineering Research Center for Collaborative Adaptive Sensing of the Atmosphere (CASA) that will make it the first urban area to test a new approach to weather forecasting.

The system will depend on a series of small radar devices placed around cities and suburbs rather than a device that scans a large area. The new approach is expected to be far more precise than conventional warning systems. The limitations of conventional weather technology were demonstrated last week by the deaths and damage throughout the South. V. Chandrasekar, deputy director for research for CASA, compared the network of radars to many pairs of eyes that could see developments faster and track changing conditions. Doppler radar sends new images every five minutes but fails to detect many tornadoes, which can touch down and dissipate more rapidly.

Read the rest of the tornado aritcle entitled, A System to Speed Up Forecasting Tornadoes (New York Times 4/29/11)

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