When it comes to tracking and forecasting winter weather, the technology and experience of the First Alert Weather Team leads the way. Our experienced team of Meteorologists utilizes the most cutting-edge technology available in the industry, both inside the studio and out here in the field, to provide you the viewer with the most reliable and accurate neighborhood forecast.
Storm Ranger is the latest - and certainly the greatest addition to NBC10’s ability to bring you the best in weather coverage. Storm Ranger is a MOBILE doppler radar unit, which utilizes a technology called dual polarization radar or 'dual-pol' radar for short. Why is that important? Well it’s our ability to transport the ENTIRE mobile radar system to where the weather is affecting us that makes Storm Ranger so important...and unique to NBC10.
Radar itself has been around since World War II, and was originally used to detect planes in the sky. Forecasting weather was an accidental discovery with radar, but we have since perfected its use, and the latest evolution in radar technology is the X-band, dual pol, Storm Ranger platform-exclusive to NBC 10.
The significance of Dual-pol radar is that it is able to not just detect precipitation itself in the sky, but it also gives us several other types of scan products such as the type of precip, the total amount in a given area over time and the speed of winds in the storm. These are all CRITICAL for providing you with the most accurate and reliable local (neighborhood) reports and hour-by-hour forecasts you expect from us at NBC10.
So how does it work? Simply put, Storm Ranger’s radar dish sends out microwaves in a horizontal and vertical direction into the atmosphere, and works similar to the way an MRI does when scanning organs and other structures inside the human body, only Storm Ranger is scanning the sky! Just like an MRI of your body, the scans are processed by very powerful computers, giving us these amazing, accurate, real-time images you see on your TV screen or mobile device.
The National Weather Service has an array of 160 radar sites around the country. These sites work together to provide a network of coverage, and in the Philadelphia area the NWS sites local to us are in Mount Holly, NJ Dover, DE and Sterling, VA.
However-The real advantage of Storm Ranger is that we can position it in the 'gaps' between these radar sites, as distance from the radar and changes in elevation reduce the fixed radar sites ability to see that last few hundred of sky closest to the surface. When it comes to winter weather in particular that can be all the difference between who sees rain, who sees ice and who sees snow! Storm Ranger is a durable and complete broadcasting platform, with it’s own mini-studio cabin and uses state-of-the-art broadcast technology to beam all of this great information back to the studio. With long range diesel motor chassis, and a ten-year expected life before maintenance, Storm Ranger can be counted on for bringing you the best local storm coverage in our area for years to come.