Skip to main content
Skip to main menu Skip to spotlight region Skip to secondary region Skip to UGA region Skip to Tertiary region Skip to Quaternary region Skip to unit footer


New weather radar to improve forecasting in North Georgia

Alan Flurry

A weather radar system purchased by the University of Georgia and the Georgia Institute of Technology could lead to improved weather forecasting in North Georgia – and provide both expanded educational opportunities for students and enhanced research capabilities for the two institutions.

“The acquisition of this radar is a game-changer for our state,” said Marshall Shepherd, director of UGA’s Atmospheric Sciences Program. “Not only does it provide a potentially lifesaving service for Georgians, it is a unique teaching and research tool for students at both institutions.” The radar will enable new research opportunities related to severe weather observations, winter weather forecasting, urban flood assessment, birds and even insects, Shepherd said.

Severe weather is a consistent threat to North Georgia that can lead to loss of life and property. The new radar system will fill a well-known gap in radar coverage over northeastern Georgia caused by the existing NEXRAD network coverage and terrain. A large landfill also causes blockage of the Terminal Doppler Weather Radar beam located near Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

A feed from the commercial Furuno WR-2100 radar, which will be located in Gwinnett County, will be shared with the National Weather Service in Peachtree City and with other interested organizations. Beyond tornadoes and other severe storms, the radar could help forecasters predict winter precipitation and provide better rainfall estimates for flood warnings.

“The radar would be used collaboratively to provide enhanced warning for people in North Georgia, to provide educational opportunities to students at both institutions, and to provide research opportunities for UGA’s Atmospheric Science Program, Georgia Tech Research Institute’s Severe Storms Research Center, and Georgia Tech’s School of Electrical and Computer Engineering,” said John Trostel, the SSRC’s director.

Trostel and colleagues at GTRI became aware of the radar’s availability and reached out to UGA colleagues about collaborating on the acquisition. The 3-year-old device, which operates in the X-band, had been used at the manufacturer’s research facility.

Continue reading...

Image: Test screen capture from the new radar.

Support Franklin College

We appreciate your financial support. Your gift is important to us and helps support critical opportunities for students and faculty alike, including lectures, travel support, and any number of educational events that augment the classroom experience. Click here to learn more about giving.