New Mobile Doppler Technology Helping Meteorologists Understand Severe WNY Weather

Rochester, NY (WROC) – When it comes to severe storm forecasting and research, the Doppler on wheels, or better known as the “DOW” is an essential piece of equipment.

The mobile radar allows meteorologists to get up close and personal with tornadoes and severe weather like never before. It keeps them from putting themselves in dangerous situations.

“What the mobile Doppler does is it’s able to penetrate into the storm and give us detailed features within the storm that we would not be able to otherwise get with any kind of instrumentation,” explains meteorologist Alycia Gilliland.

Over the past several years, the DOW fleet has collected data from over 200 tornadoes and has been inside the cores of 13 hurricanes.

“With tornadoes, we’re looking at low level winds and so what we’re looking at is how those low level winds interact with the ground to maybe help enhance tornadoes or cause tornadoes to be more severe,” says Gilliland.

The mobile radar is being used here in Western New York to study lake effect snow. Professors and meteorology students from Hobart & William Smith Colleges have been involved with a special project studying lake effect, and having the mobile radar on board has helped them see things like never before.

“The students were really involved. We were out day and night; whenever there was a storm, we were out launching weather balloons every three hours,” recalls meteorology student Macy Howarth. “Some of us went up in the plane flying over Lake Ontario.”

The mobile Doppler radar is just one of three that is currently in operation across the country.

For more information on the DOW and what it’s capable, click on the URL below:

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