Hole in radar coverage leaves part of Oregon Coast vulnerable to severe storms

Doppler radar misses part of Oregon coast

A gaping hole in Doppler radar coverage leaves the central Oregon Coast vulnerable to severe storms.

It is the only stretch of coast in the lower 48 states not covered by the storm detecting technology.

In fact, meteorologists say had the tornado that hit Manzanita earlier this month come onshore in Newport or Florence, residents there would have had no warning.

There is now an effort underway by meteorologists across Oregon to get the National Weather Service to install and operate a new Doppler radar site on the Oregon Coast.

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Six year ago, Washington led a similar effort to get a radar site put in on its coast. It paid off. The National Weather Service put in radar site near Grays Harbor.

Meteorologists say it was actually that radar site in Washington that detected the Manzanita tornado.

Manzanita residents say they only had about two minutes of warning before the tornado hit. They believe a Doppler radar site on the Oregon Coast is critical to protecting the lives of coastal residents and visitors.

“Here at the coast where the weather is probably the most volatile… to not have [radar] is a little concerning,” said Manzanita resident Erik Nelson. “We got lucky this time around.”
 

KGW


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