Coastal Radar Just A Year Away!

Very good news from Senator Maria Cantwell’s office today up in Washington.  The much-needed coastal radar installation timing has been moved up!  So now we only have to go 1 more winter with the status quo.  The plan is for it to be operational 1 year from this Fall (2011).  Here’s the press release.  Basically a brand new weather survelliance radar will be put up on the Southwest Washington coast…the first coastal radar on the Pacific Northwest Coastline.  A 2nd on the central Oregon coast is surely needed since we see very little below 10,000′.  I posted about this last December here.  Cliff Mass, my professor from the UW (20 years ago!) has been a big proponent of this, ever since a series of devastating windstorms and floods the last 5+ years up there.  But this will give us some big help, especially since buoys recently have not been maintained well;  most of the outer buoys were not operational this winter.  By the time a low pressure system or area of strong wind hits the inner buoys it’s quite close to the coastline.  If you want to see how bad the low-level radar coverage is…here’s my “tv weather graphics” version of what we currently see vs. what we should see below 10,000′ in the future.  Most of the “main action” happens in the lowest part of the atmosphere, so you can see what a different it’ll make.  Click on these for a better view.    Note that we’ll finally see into the “Astoria Hole” and that huge gap over the Willapa Hills.  It’s always been annoying when a wall of rain suddenly appears just west of Longview as it moves inland to the north of the Metro Area.  Also, with those cold wintertime fronts that come in from the northwest, we’ll have a much better idea when the rain is about to hit the north Oregon Coast.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

12 Responses to Coastal Radar Just A Year Away!

  1. RobWaltemate says:

    I can’t wait! We here in Long Beach have been living under the radar for way too long. This is very good news!

  2. pgiorgio says:


  3. W7ENK says:

    Nice… This will significantly improve forecasting and lead time before these devastating storms.

    Just watch, this winter will produce another Columbus Day storm type event, and we’ll all be kicking ourselves for not doing this sooner… One year too late!

    I hope not. 😕

  4. Kyle says:

    That radar is going to be one big help when we have our next lanina winter.

    Glad they are finally going to get that radar up before the country goes down the crapper with all the bailouts and stuff. 🙂

    That radar is going to be one big help when we have our next lanaina

    • dabears (Hillsboro-Tanasbourne) says:

      Do you even realize that the radar is being made possible because of government stimulus funds?

    • Jesse-Orchards says:

      I think you just made his head explode.

    • yevpolo1990 says:

      lanaina eh?
      we are so poor that we can afford a radar, how awesome is that?

  5. muxpux says:

    gonna be nice here in Longview, no more “surprise” showers or heavy rains. itll be nice to see whats coming…

  6. alohabb says:


  7. Momto4inOR says:


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