CALERA, Ala. (WIAT) — Meteorologists and emergency response agencies in Alabama are preparing for the fall severe weather season.
They gave the community Saturday an inside look of how they track and monitor storms at the National Weather Service’s Birmingham office in Calera. Researchers from the University of Alabama in Huntsville are using mobile radar to collect weather data.
“Trying to understand how the storm evolve or changing and taking that data back and trying to see if we can improve the forecast models that we’re using to predict our weather,” UAH weather researcher Preston Pangle said.
Pangle said new technology is helping them gather more data.
“One example, instead of this dish we have, we have a phaser ray radar,” Pangle said. “And it’s a radar you can send radiation out to the storms very fast, very efficiently. So it’s evolving all the time, and it’s one of the aspects it’s evolving.”
The Alabama Emergency Response Team said an improved National Weather Service chat is helping share what is happening on the ground when severe weather occurs.
“When we have an amateur radio operator or storm spotter in that chat, they are witnessing a storm event such as hail, they will go into that chat and tell us where the hail is happening,” said Alabama Emergency Response Team Vice President Casey Benefield. “And sometimes, they will send us a picture of that, and it’s a free app on the phone or on the PC.”
The fall severe weather starts at the beginning of November and ends in mid-December.