UND to help local media with weather forecasts during NWS radar outage

Document Type

News Article

Publication Date


Campus Unit

John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences


TV stations, other media to use UND radar weather images to keep public informed

The University of North Dakota's WSR-74C polarimetric Doppler radar produces ultra-accurate images of what goes on in rain clouds. It's an essential weather eye that helps scientists figure out, among other things, how storms develop and track.

For the next week or so, UND's highly specialized radar unit will help local media get weather news to the public while the National Weather Service (NWS) upgrades its Grand Forks area radar to the kind already in use at UND. UND's polarimetric Doppler radar images will also be used by Fargo TV stations to deliver vital weather info for this Saturday's Fargo Marathon.

"NWS is upgrading the radar system near Mayville, part of a national system of planned upgrades, to a system like UND's, which we've had since 2004," said UND radar research meteorologist Chris Theisen. "This type of radar produces more information on the moisture in clouds so we can better predict what's happening. Media have asked us to help out because the NWS Grand Forks area radar system will be down for the upgrade. We'll step in to help local media provide the public with accurate weather information."

"The upgrade at the NWS Grand Forks facility is expected to take about a week—it should be up and running early next week, if everything goes as planned," said Theisen, an Upsala, Minn., native, who got both his bachelor of science and master of science degrees in atmospheric sciences from UND.

UND's Polarimetric Doppler Radar unit is part of the Department of Atmospheric Sciences in the John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences.

About UND Atmospheric Sciences

The UND Department of Atmospheric Sciences provides high quality undergraduate and graduate education embedded in an environment of significant research and discovery of new knowledge in the atmospheric sciences that provides service to the students and to the broader world in which we live. Exciting research is presently being conducted in a wide array of areas that include cloud and climate change, satellite remote sensing of the atmosphere, radar meteorology, data assimilation and mesoscale modeling, and transportation weather.