The National Weather Service is upgrading their radar site in Chanhassen. What does that mean in case of severe weather in St. Cloud? 

(Chanhassen, MN)  –  The National Weather Service forecast office in Chanhassen will be doing an upgrade on their Doppler radar.

The current Doppler radar only can receive horizontal images. That means the radar can’t tell between smoke, rain, hail or humidity, sometimes giving false radar echoes. The new dual-pol radar will be able to see both vertically and horizontally giving forecasters a better ability to see all of the different types of precipitation including the size of hail and it will also better identify tornadoes.

Right now, when there is a “radar indicated tornado”, the signature hook echo looks like there is a tornado developing or on the ground. The dual-pol radar will be able to see the debris ball in the center of the funnel cloud, which will also aid in forecasting just how large the tornado is.

The Doppler will be taken down August 20 and will remain down for approximately a week. The National Weather Service will rely on the Doppler at the Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport and radar from surrounding forecast service offices in Duluth, La Crosse, Des Moines, Sioux Falls and Fargo.