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Weather Radars
Description:
The purpose of this category is to document the locations of fixed-location weather radars, both operational and antiquated.
Expanded Description:

Understanding the weather, and knowing when the weather will affect our lives is essential on a daily basis. One of the main tools we use to obtain this understanding is with weather radars. These relatively modern technological advances tell us where precipitation is falling, where it is moving, and how it will affect us. We seek out this information on a daily basis, by searching the internet, watching the Weather Channel, or watching the local news.

Many weather radars exist throughout the world, and are operated by many different entities. In the United States, the National Weather Service operates and maintains 156 weather radars, including Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and Guam. In addition to government-run radars, private companies also maintain their own radars, most notably local television stations that produce their own weather forecasts.

Weather radars can be located anywhere, from airports to remote hilltops. Any static weather radar that is in current use, or has been used in the past may be waymarked. Mobile weather radars (typically used by researchers, universities, and storm chasers) will not be approved. NOTE: Do not confuse these with weather stations, which have a separate category. Weather stations record standard atmospheric variables such as temperature, dewpoint, wind speed, etc., at one fixed point location, and are passive sensors (i.e. they sit there and record what happens at that location). Weather radars are active weather sensors that send out radio waves, and are capable of giving a 3D representation of precipitation (and wind, in the case of Doppler radars) covering a radius of over 100 miles (~150 km).

History Lesson:

Weather radars, as they exist today, were created on the basis of military radars used during World War II to detect and locate hostile aircraft. It wasn't until the early 1960's, however, that this technology was used to study the weather.

The first weather radars, the Weather Surveillance Radar - 57 (WSR-57) was used by the newly-created National Severe Storms Laboratory in 1964. These radars sent out short burst of energy from a slowly-rotating antenna. The amount of energy that bounced back to the radar antenna was proportional to the size of any precipitation that the energy encountered. These radars, in conjunction with research aircraft missions, greatly increased the understanding that meteorologists had of severe storms.

Since that time, technology advanced, and Doppler radar became the focus of weather radar research. Doppler radars work based on the Doppler Effect (crazy, eh?). If a fire engine is driving by you with the siren on, you have most probably noticed a change in the pitch (the frequency of the sound wave) as it gets closer to you, and then passes you. The radar works with that in mind. It can detect the motion of precipitation particles, not just their existence, by knowing the change in the radio waves that are sent out by the Doppler radar. As a side note, this is also how meteorologist can tell if there is rotation in a cloud that could possibly spawn a tornado.

In the early 1990s, the National Weather Service began replacing all operational WSR-57 radars with the new, improved NEXRAD (short for NEXt generation RADar) Doppler radars, otherwise known as WSR-88D. These radars are still in operation today, and provide nearly complete coverage of the United States. Additional historical information about weather radars can be found here

Instructions for Posting a Weather Radars Waymark:

To post a waymark in this category, provide coordinates as close to a weather radar as is safe and/or allowable. In many cases, weather radars will be on airport properties, or other private locations. In these instances, get as close as possible to the structure, and explain this in your waymark description.

In addition to the coordinates, please provide at least one original, recent, non-copyrighted photograph of the radar. Additional photographs of the area where the radar is located are encouraged. A picture of yourself or your GPS is not required.

Also, fill out the variables as best you can, including who operates the radar, and where we can look at the imagery it is producing.

Instructions for Visiting a Waymark in this Category:
Please provide a photograph of yourself and/or your GPS with the radar visible, and describe the area.
Category Settings:
  • Waymarks can be added to this category
  • New waymarks of this category are reviewed by the category group prior to being published
  • Category is visible in the directory
Variables:
  • Is the radar operational?
  • Radar Operator
  • Radar Type
  • Radar Website
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Weather RadarsNWS Rapid City, SD Radar - New Underwood, SD

in Weather Radars

This Doppler Weather Radar can be found north of I-90 as one travels west toward Rapid City, South Dakota.

posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Siren Hunter

location: South Dakota

date approved: 9/15/2014

last visited: never

Premium Member Downloads: download.GPX Lite File       download.LOC File       download .KML File (Google Earth)