ULM Doppler radar plays critical role in detecting tornado presence
It only takes a few seconds for life around you to change.
According to the University of Louisiana at Monroe, The National Weather Service in Shreveport credits the University of Louisiana Monroe doppler radar with providing critical data which led to additional lead-time on alerts and alarms to warn the residents of Monroe about the tornados.
The NWS confirmed three tornados in Ouachita Parish on Sunday. An EF-3 tornado swept through Monroe, and an EF-2 and EF-1 both touched down in Sterlington.
ULM Atmospheric science professor Dr. Todd Murphy monitored those severe weather conditions the entire time through the doppler radar system.
"[It] detected tornados wonderfully. The purpose of our radar being built here in Monroe is it helped to fill a low-level coverage gap," Murphy said.
The closest doppler systems were in Shreveport and Jackson, Mississippi, prior to ULM's system being built in October 2016.
It is used to detect atmospheric conditions like rain, hail and debris as they occur in real-time.
It notified the National Weather Service within seconds.
"Our radar assisted them in issuing better warnings for the population around Monroe," Murphy said.
Those same warnings were used to notify residents of an active tornado warning and tornado emergency,
"Once a warning is issued, you should go to your safe place wherever you might live," Murphy said.