by Lee Ringer
On Friday, February 4, 2005, KTRE became the home of the first and only live Doppler radar network in East Texas with the addition of a radar site in Tyler, Texas. The Tyler radar site joins Live Doppler 9 located in the Lufkin-Nacogdoches area to provide expanded radar coverage for all of East Texas.
KTRE installed Live Doppler 9 in the summer of 2003 making it the first and only Doppler radar in the Lufkin-Nacogdoches area of East Texas. Prior to Live Doppler 9, KTRE meteorologists relied on radar data from National Weather Service sites in Houston, Shreveport, Dallas, Fort Hood, Fort Polk, and Lake Charles. National Weather Service radars, or NEXRAD radars, take at least 5 or 6 minutes to make a complete scan of the sky. That data then has to be processed by computers. By the time you see a NEXRAD image on TV or on the internet, it can be anywhere between 6 and 15 minutes old. During severe weather, minutes and even seconds count. With live radar centrally located in East Texas, KTRE is able to provide instant information on where a severe storm is located and where it may be headed. KTRE meteorologists use the Live Doppler 9 Network along with NEXRAD radar to provide you with the most comprehensive weather information available in the area.
The addition of a second live radar in Tyler means even more coverage and the ability to track storms long before they approach the Lufkin-Nacogdoches area of East Texas. The network can even detect storms as they develop over the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex and move toward East Texas.
Both radars use the Doppler effect, which can detect where rotation may be occurring in a thunderstorm. That can be the first indicator that a tornado has formed or is about to form. A good example of the Doppler effect can be shown if you stand near the side of a railroad track. A train sounds different when it is travelling toward you than it does when it is moving away from you. The difference in the sound is caused by the Doppler effect. Radar uses that physical principal to determine where rain or hail in thunderstorms is moving toward the radar or moving away from the radar. If meteorologists see a point on radar with particles moving toward the radar and an adjacent point with particles moving away from the radar, that can be an indicator of rotation.
The Live Doppler 9 Network maintains KTRE's ability to zoom into county maps and even street-level neighborhood maps to track severe weather across East Texas. It is just one more way KTRE is committed to providing the best weather coverage for East Texas.
You can see the Live Doppler 9 Network only on KTRE-TV 9 and online at ktre.com.