New radar at Millersville University to help fill data gap in central Pennsylvania
MILLERSVILLE, Pa. – In partnership with Climavision, Millersville University is now the host of a new weather radar located atop its water tower.
The X-band weather radar and surrounding radar dome were installed on the water tower earlier this week.
This new addition to equipment comes as part of Climavision’s mission to install radars in areas of the country that are underserved by existing weather infrastructure.
“Lancaster County is one of those areas with fairly large gaps, because the way the larger S-band NEXRAD radars are positioned and our terrain, we’re in a dark area here,” says Mark Harris, dean of Lancaster University’s School of Science and Technology. Technology in Millersville.
Lancaster County is located on the edge of multiple regional radars, such as those in State College, Pennsylvania, Mount Holly, New Jersey, and Sterling, Virginia.
One problem the area has with the radar at State College is altitude. Because the radar is located at a higher altitude, radar beams often miss weather phenomena that occur at lower levels of the atmosphere, such as hurricanes or snowstorms.
This new radar will be able to see more of what’s happening near the surface within a 60-mile radius of Millersville, which will help with weather detection and forecasting. Its high-resolution data will also help identify different types of precipitation.
“So differentiating between a small raindrop, heavy raindrops, hail, tornado signatures, etc. This weather radar system specializes in doing that as well,” says Tara Good, vice president of strategic partnerships at Climavision.
Besides the public safety aspect, this radar also comes with an educational benefit to Millersville University.
“Our faculty and students will have access to the data generated by this radar in real time, as well as archived data going back several months,” Harris tells FOX43. “It’s an amazing educational tool for our students in emergency management, meteorology and understanding radar science but it will also be a research tool as well.”
Harris says students and faculty are already brainstorming ways they can use this new radar in future research and projects.
The radar is scheduled to be fully operational for weather forecasting and research by the fall.
Climavision says data from this radar will be made available to the National Weather Service to issue vital weather warnings and watches, the details of which are still being worked out. Other organizations are able to subscribe to Climavision for access as well.
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