Buffalo doppler radar upgrades will lead to improved accuracy for WNY viewers

Posted at 1:36 PM, Oct 09, 2020

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Work is underway on improvements to the Buffalo Doppler radar that will allow the 7 First Alert team to bring you even more accurate forecasts.

The generator, fuel tanks, and accompanying components of the radar will be replaced as part of a $150 million upgrade of doppler radars across the nation by the National Weather Service. The upgrades will keep the radars viable into the 2030s.

The Buffalo radar (KBUF) is one of 159 operational radars that monitor rain, hail, snow, and tornadoes across the United States.

Radar continues to evolve, and the Buffalo radar is now a dual polarization radar. The previous radar would transmit and receive radio waves with a single horizontal polarization. The new radar transmits and receives both horizontal and vertical polarizations.

The upgrades will allow the 7 First Alert team to deliver more accurate precipitation estimates, leading to better flash flood detection.

In addition, there will be an improved ability to discern between heavy rain, hail, snow, and sleet and improved detection of non-meteorological echoes such as ground clutter, birds, and tornado debris.