Public Information Statement
Issued by NWS Blacksburg, VA

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VAZ007-010>020-WVZ042>044-507-508-252300-

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BLACKSBURG VA
147 PM EDT MON APR 25 2016

...KFCX RADAR SOFTWARE UPGRADE ALLOWS EVEN FASTER UPDATE TIMES FOR LOWEST
ELEVATION SLICE...

WITH A NEW SOFTWARE UPGRADE AT THE KFCX WSR-88D RADAR SITE
COMPLETED THIS MORNING...KNOWN AS BUILD 16.1...WE HAVE SOME
ENHANCED CAPABILITY TO GENERATE ADDITIONAL 0.5 DEGREE SLICES MORE
FREQUENTLY. FOR A COUPLE OF YEARS WE HAVE HAD THE ABILITY TO
GENERATE ONE ADDITIONAL 0.5 DEGREE SLICE...THE LOWEST
AVAILABLE...PER VOLUME SCAN. THIS IS KNOWN AS SUPPLEMENTAL
ADAPTIVE INTRA-VOLUME LOW-LEVEL SCAN (OR SAILS). SINCE EACH
VOLUME SCAN IS COMPLETED ABOUT ONCE EVERY 4 TO 5 MINUTES ON
AVERAGE DURING POTENTIAL SEVERE WEATHER DAYS....THIS MEANS WE
HAVE BEEN ABLE TO RECEIVE A NEW 0.5 DEG SLICE EVERY 2 MINUTES OR
SO.

WITH THE NEW SOFTWARE BUILD...NOW WE CAN CHOOSE TO SELECT
1...2...OR EVEN 3 ADDITIONAL 0.5 DEGREE SLICES PER VOLUME SCAN.
THIS IS KNOWN AS MULTIPLE ELEVATION SCAN OPTION SAILS (OR MESO-
SAILS). CHOOSING THE MAXIMUM NUMBER WILL GIVE US A TOTAL OF 4
UPDATES OF THE 0.5 DEGREE SLICE PER VOLUME SCAN...OR AN UPDATE OF
ABOUT ONCE EVERY 75 TO 90 SECONDS ON AVERAGE. THIS CHOICE WILL
DEPEND ON THE SEVERE WEATHER CONCERN OF THE DAY...WITH AN OPTION
OF 2 OR 3 MOST LIKELY RESERVED FOR DAYS WHEN WE EXPECT TORNADOES
OR EXTREME STRAIGHT LINE WINDS. ON MOST SEVERE WEATHER DAYS WE
WILL LIKELY CHOOSE THE OPTION OF 1 SINCE THIS WILL GIVE US SLIGHTLY
FASTER UPDATES OF THE HIGHER SLICES COMPARED TO AN OPTION OF 2 OR
3. THIS IS HELPFUL FOR DETECTING NEW STORMS DEVELOPING AT HIGHER
ALTITUDES.

THE BOTTOM LINE IS THAT WITH THIS NEW CAPABILITY WE CAN
OBTAIN...WHEN NEEDED...EVEN FASTER UPDATES OF THE LOWEST SLICES OF
RADAR DATA TO GIVE METEOROLOGISTS A BETTER CHANCE TO OBSERVE VERY
RAPIDLY EVOLVING PHENOMENA JUST ABOVE THE GROUND...SUCH AS
DEVELOPING TORNADOES.

$$

SK



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