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funded by NSF at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and
at universities was instrumental in the development of Doppler radar as
a meteorological research tool.
Doppler radar is what most Americans see every evening on TV news and
weather reporting. Most, but not all, TV stations in the U.S.A. now have
NSF funded NCAR and several universities to make important refinements
to software and hardware technologies associated with Doppler radar that
enhanced the use of these radars for both research and operational purposes.
Conventional radar provides information about the location and intensity
of precipitation associated with a storm, while Doppler radar adds the
capability to discern
air motions within a storm.
radar helps scientists and meteorologists see or detect near-ground wind
which are dangerous to aircraft. Doppler radar technology also enables
meteorologists to forecast the location and severity of weather with greater
accuracy,which has resulted in improved public
safety and, in some cases, lives saved.
NSF has also been involved in the development of ground-based and airborne
Doppler radars, which have been used extensively in fundamental research
on meteorological phenomena from tornadoes to large winter storms.
A recent significant achievement has been the collection of detailed information
wind and precipitation distribution near tornado vortices.
Such information is beginning to reveal the nature of the
formation and dissipation processes of these very destructive and life-threatening