PORTLAND - Last month, the National Weather Service completed a 122 radar site upgrade of what is called dual-polarization technology.
It is the first nationwide upgrade of radar technology since the early 1990s and does include the National Weather Service radar site in Portland.
The highlight of this new capability is a storm scan on a horizontal and vertical slice that shows approaching storms as a more complete 3D image.
The better-defined imagery seen by meteorologists more clearly shows the size of hail, raindrops, snow, wildfire smoke plumes and perhaps most impressive, can distinguish rotating debris from tornadoes such as corn stalks or man-made objects.
Better and earlier detection of the most severe storms and large tornadoes has already saved lives according to NOAA.
To read more about this important upgrade to weather technology, check out this NOAA site.
The image above shows the national network of weather service radar sites.
The Portland radar is located in the hills near Scappoose. KGW is the only local television site to own and operate an important second radar, which is located in the hills outside of Washougal.
Meteorologist Rod Hill