Monroe, La (KNOE 8 News) - ULM held an official ribbon cutting ceremony to introduce the community to their new Doppler radar.
A Doppler radar is a remote sensor that meteorologists use to detect things like precipitation, hail, and even tornadoes. During severe weather events, such as tornadoes, it's important to have good radar coverage so forecasters can spot rotation in a storm cell. Before ULM's radar was operational, the closest radar sites to Monroe were in Shreveport and Jackson Mississippi.
"The way radar works is as it sends energy out into the atmosphere it actually gets higher and higher up because the earth curves. So that means once that radar energy makes it to northeast Louisiana it's not looking close to the ground it's looking higher up into the atmosphere," said Todd Murphy, an Assistant Professor in the Atmospheric Sciences Department.
This new radar offers a new opportunity to students that they didn't have before.
"We get hands-on experience with our radar now rather than learning it as we go in our future jobs," said Cameron Dauterive, a student in the program.
Murphy says they will get this hands-on experience by enrolling in a class that will require students to use this data. "Now students are gonna get a chance to learn how to actually operate a radar and analyze data from this radar as opposed to another one somewhere else in the United States."
The data will be available for use by local meteorologists as well as the general public.