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Weather-tracking technology advances

Rick Smith, of the National Weather Service, Norman Forecast Office, said, “We're excited to see what the new dual-polarization radar technology will do for us now that it's installed on all of our radars.
From STAFF REPORTS Published: December 31, 2012

At a glance

Advances in tracking technology

Q: What is an advancement in technology or in terms of organization or planning your department made in 2012 that may help in 2013?

Rick Smith, National Weather Service, Norman Forecast Office: “We're excited to see what the new dual-polarization radar technology will do for us now that it's installed on all of our radars. Dual-polarization radar sends and receives horizontal and vertical pulses, providing a much more informative picture of what is out there. We'll keep expanding our efforts to reach people through social media and any other ways we can find to get the word out before, during and after dangerous weather. And we're excited to be working with several new staff members who bring a new perspective to our operations and will make the office even better. Our goal is to be ready for whatever weather challenges will come our way in 2013, and to help everyone be ready.”

Gary McManus, Oklahoma Climatological Survey: “The Oklahoma Climatological Survey sought closer ties to the agricultural community in order to get a better picture of drought occurring across the state, pairing with Oklahoma Farm Service Agency and Natural Resources Conservation Service agents. That information is in turn used as input to the U.S. Drought Monitor, which is a key component to receiving many forms of agricultural disaster relief dollars. The Oklahoma Mesonet, along with researchers from Oklahoma State University, developed a new method to measure the water contained in Oklahoma soils available for use by plants. Thanks to the Mesonet, Oklahoma has a more reliable and accurate method for tracking drought in real-time than any other state in the country. The Mesonet also continues to train Oklahoma Emergency Managers to track severe weather using the most up-to-date information and technology available through its OK-First program.”

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