NBC Universal Owned Television Stations announced recently that it’s deployed the first-of-its-kind fleet of mobile Doppler weather radar trucks.
Three StormRanger trucks, each built on a Ram 5500 pickup chassis, carry X-Band, Doppler radar systems that will gather weather data that the existing network of fixed radars can miss.
The first StormRanger, which debuted in Philadelphia last week, will roam the Northeast corridor. Two more StormRangers will cover the Dallas-Fort Worth, Chicago, Southern California, and Bay Area markets. All three mobile radars will service the NBC- and Telemundo-owned stations throughout the country.
“We are boosting our weather forecasting capabilities by building, from scratch, the first-of-its-kind fleet of mobile weather radars in the country because we know how important weather is to our viewers,” said Valari Staab, president, NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations. “All of our stations will have access to this groundbreaking weather technology so they can deliver even more lifesaving weather information to their communities.”
Local audiences will be able track the StormRangers through NBC- and Telemundo-owned stations’ desktop and mobile web sites, and station apps. Additionally, app users will receive push notifications when StormRangers are tracking storms and severe weather in their home market. Having real-time access to this crucial weather information may help viewers better prepare for and keep their families safe from severe weather.
The StormRangers’ dual polarization radar has a range of 75 miles. NBC reports that this game-changing technology enables them to position the trucks in locations where they can see around terrain that has previously been unreachable by fixed weather radars.
The StormRanger’s high-resolution and narrow-pulse radars also have the capability to scan storms at the lowest atmospheric layers, allowing meteorologists to determine the exact location of a storm, including its strength, its speed and where it’s headed. Each StormRanger will also be better able to detect snow, light rain, hail, and particles in the atmosphere, as well as tornado debris fields and smoke.
“The radar beam from a fixed radar is too high in the atmosphere to see lower weather phenomena, but that’s where severe weather takes place – in the lowest parts of the atmosphere,” Stedronsky said. “With StormRanger, you can take your viewers to the weather and gather information that a traditional fixed radar could be missing.”