NextGen Live: Radar Unveiled
OKLAHOMA CITY - News 9 is a leader when it comes to tracking severe weather. We've had many firsts here in Oklahoma. We were the first television station in the world to use a Doppler radar, the first to do storm tracks on the screen, and the first to bring you our StreetScope technology. Now, we traveled to Huntsville, Alabama to find the latest, cutting edge technology that will revolutionize how we keep you safe during severe weather.
How do you go up against something like Oklahoma weather that can change in an instant? Well, you have to out think Mother Nature; you have to get something that's even faster. We have searched and gone out and we have found the most powerful radar in the world. Our NextGen Live is a one million watt dual pole radar.
"The accuracy of this system will be second to none," said John Ellis, Baron Program Manager. "It will be superior to anything else we've put out in the field."
This radar sends out two beams of energy, one in the horizontal and one in the vertical at the same time and what that enables us to do is see inside storms like we've never been able to see before.
"In the past, you've been running a radar that's 250 kilowatts," said Bob Dreisewerd, Baron Chief Development Officer. "The radar you're receiving is one megawatt, so four times the power."
We can see farther out, we see more detail when you're shooting through things like hail and wind and rain. The precision, the accuracy, the resolution - it's unprecedented. Instead of looking down on a half mile area, an area of circulation, we can zoom in and see a circulation as small as the size of a football field. Right now dual pole data from the National Weather Service, which all the other TV stations rely on, that data can be as old as 10 to possibly 12 minutes behind. Ours is instant. Ours is live dual pol radar data, there's no delay.
"That's the important thing for the viewer is they want to know when it's getting to my house," said Steve Bray, Baron Meteorologist.
Our radar that we've had for many years now, it's been a great radar, but the technology has advanced now to this next level. It's almost like going from, honestly, from black and white TV to your 70 inch HD flat screen on the wall and we're doing that overnight. The value that this is going to give viewers at home, it's going to be lifesaving.