Doppler Radar Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is Doppler Radar and how does it help East Texas?

When severe weather hits, KTRE-TV now has the most important weather instrument available – Doppler Radar.  Doppler Radar is specially designed to monitor wind turbulence in a storm by bouncing a radar beam off of raindrops or hail, then determining frequency shifts.  This allows the Doppler to tell us which direction and how fast the raindrops or hail are moving.  That means when severe weather strikes East Texas, Live Doppler 9 will detect the storms' patterns.

KTRE’s team of degreed meteorologists are trained to read and analyze Doppler data and pass the information on to you.  Thanks to Live Doppler 9, they can pinpoint the storms in your area, tell you what to expect from the storms, and where the storms are headed.

One of the reasons KTRE meteorologists are so precise is that KTRE now owns its own real-time Doppler Radar, located at the KTRE studios in Lufkin.  This allows our staff of meteorologists to give you live, up-to-the-minute reports.  What you see on KTRE is what's happening right now.  Many television stations don't own their systems, which means they are reading someone else's data that can be as much as 15 minutes old.  Time is important when it comes to severe weather because you need to know what's happening at that exact minute, so you can prepare or find safety.

Severe weather and tornadoes will always be a threat, but weather technology continues to advance.  Rest assured, KTRE meteorologists are constantly advancing their skills and knowledge so they can keep you better informed.

What is the difference between Live Doppler Radar and NEXRAD Radar?

NEXRAD (Next Generation Radar), the network of radars used by the National Weather Service, and Live Doppler 9 work on the same principle, the Doppler Effect.  Fortunately, for East Texas, Live Doppler Radar returns a real-time image.  NEXRAD images can be anywhere from six to 15 minutes old, meaning you see where the storm was 15 minutes ago, instead of where the storm is right now.  Just imagine what you could do with up to 15 minutes more warning.

What do the colors shown on screen represent?

For the most part, brighter colors indicate stronger echoes, or more intense precipitation.  Light to moderate rainfall is usually denoted as light to dark green.  As the colors move up the scale to yellow, red, and even magenta, it is an indication of a much stronger, possibly severe storm.

Can Live Doppler 9 detect tornadoes?

Live Doppler 9 has the ability to detect rotation within a storm, which can suggest that a tornado is on the ground, or could be about to form.  By observing this rotation, KTRE meteorologists can infer the severity of the storm and immediately pass that information along to you, our viewers.

Is Live Doppler 9 available to view online?

Computer software captures images from Live Doppler 9 every five minutes and posts them to the website. In addition to the latest still image, a radar loop consisting of the last five images captured is available. This loop will allow the user to see the general direction of movement in a storm system.