CHARLOTTE – WBTV announced that it has become the first station in the U.S. to access a revolutionary new Radar as a Service offering from climate tech leader, Climavision, filling a critical weather radar coverage gap in the Charlotte region. 

The station will have exclusive access to the most advanced, high-resolution, dual-polarization X-band radar in the Charlotte media market.

“As a station, we have been fighting for decades for better radar coverage to protect our area,” said WBTV First Alert Chief Meteorologist Al Conklin. “The National Weather Service has been able to make some upgrades to their radars over the years, but they still sit way too far away to give the city the resolution needed or to aim low enough in the atmosphere for the most accurate reading. This new radar fills the gaps better than anything else available.”

WBTV’s new radar sits within 20 miles of Uptown Charlotte and has a resolution up to 10 times higher than the NEXRAD radars used by the National Weather Service. 

“We’ve never seen a more detailed look at precipitation or storms than we have with the new radar joining the First Alert Radar Network,” Conklin said. “This is a game-changer.”

Another differentiating factor of radars is speed. Because of their longer sweeps, the National Weather Service’s S-band radars can take anywhere from five to six minutes to provide complete images of storms. This makes them valuable tools in tracking storms approaching the area from a distance, but the station felt an investment was needed for faster radar data.

WBTV’s newest radar uses X-Band dual-polarity technology. Not only can it detect precipitation and atmospheric movement, but it can also provide real-time radar information at 10x resolution and at a faster refresh rate, which means viewers have more time to take action when severe weather threatens.

“Every second counts, so practically eliminating any time gap is a very big deal,” Conklin said.

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