Proposal For 15 New Doppler Radar Sites?



An article appeared today in the Washington Post written by Dennis Mersereau ((Capital Weather Gang)talking about the ongoing gap in weather radar coverage across the US. We know all too well that this is a problem in New Mexico and parts of West Texas. A proposal to install 15 new radars nationwide could help us out here in southeastern New Mexico and West Texas. 


Would New Mexico Get One Of These New Radars?

 One proposal that is out there includes the possibility of 15 new radars (indicated by the red circles in the map above) to help fill the gaps nationwide. At a cost of roughly $10 million a piece to install and about $500,000 a year to maintain each radar, its easy to see that this would be an expensive project. Where would this money come from, and would Congress even be willing to come up with this money for this project is anybody's guess at this point.

Looking at the possible placement location of one of these proposed new radars near the junction of I-20 and I-10 in West Texas, west of Fort Stockton, I agree that it would benefit southeastern New Mexico to a point. This wouldn't be my choice as to where to put a new radar but it would help us locally. This proposed location would be put Carlsbad roughly 90 miles from the radar, Artesia about 115 miles, Roswell about 145 miles, and Hobbs about 115 miles from the radar's location. 

If this site were chosen then none of the populated communities of southeastern New Mexico would be inside of the best coverage of the 60 mile cone used for Tornado Vortex Signatures (TVS). But the ability to detect severe thunderstorms, thunderstorms that produce heavy rains that lead to flash flooding, and snow storms would improve.

 However the location of this proposed radar site would improve severe weather detection across the local area and would help improve our warning times during severe weather outbreaks. It would help with the detection of heavy rains over the Guadalupe's, and the southeastern plains of New Mexico,  that often lead to flash flooding, but not so much over the Sacramento and Capitan Mountains.  

Snowfall detection across Eddy and Lea Counties would improve with this proposed site as well as radar estimated rainfall totals. Again overall it would be beneficial to southeastern New Mexico to see a radar at this location...I just wish it was in Eddy or Chaves Counties instead. At this point in time all I know is what this article is stating and may not even become a reality. We can hope though.

Read the original article here.

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