State-of-the-art Doppler radar will help predict Washington's coastal weather

A state-of-the-art Doppler radar equipped with dual polarization began operating on September 29 on Langley Hill in Grays Harbor, Washington.

The dual polarization technology provides an in-depth look at weather systems, scanning vertically as well as horizontally which should enable the National Weather Service to better predict the type, intensity, and duration of precipitation. 

At the ribbon-cutting ceremony, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) said "This new, state-of-the-art radar technology will enable Washingtonians to better prepare for the impact of big Pacific storms on businesses and homes, saving lives and property. The Pacific Northwest will be safer because of this technology."

According to Senator Cantwell’s office, the new Doppler radar is going online a year ahead of schedule.

Western Washington’s only other Doppler radar is located on Camano Island, but the radar’s reach is largely blocked by the Olympic Mountains, causing large gaps in weather data of storms approaching the Washington and Oregon coast.

According to Senator Cantwell’s office, the new coastal radar will help close this data gap, enabling forecasters to better determine wind speed and rainfall of incoming storms to give more accurate and timely warnings to residents in harm’s way and help prevent loss of life and billions of dollars in property damage.