Live 5 Weather Radar data is supplied from two different sources. Our station owned ADC Doppler System and the National Weather Service WSR-88D NexRad system, which is composed of a network of about 160+ individual Radars across the country. Each of the National Weather Service Radars has a power output of 750 kW in the S band. Our station owned radar can see storms developing over 400 miles away and can see far out over the Atlantic so we can monitor tropical systems in real-time as they approach.
The nature of Doppler Radar is that the antenna uses a very slow rotation, because it also scans in the elevation mode (up and down in a storm) at the same time. This mode of operation allows collection of many forms of data such as cloud height, precipitation level, and wind direction information. A complete sweep of the antenna occurs about once every seven minutes. New additions to the nations NEXRAD network will add what is called "dual-polarization" which will not only let us see where the rain is but it will tell us how big the raindrops themselves are. This will be the most helpful during a tropical event to anticipate flooding and during winter weather to figure out what it rain, sleet and snow.