Weather Forecasting:

Radars Far Superior to Predecessors, but Location and Availability Questions Remain

T-AIMD-96-2: Published: Oct 17, 1995. Publicly Released: Oct 17, 1995.

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GAO discussed the National Weather Service's (NWS) Next Generation Weather Radars (NEXRAD). GAO noted that: (1) NWS, the Air Force, and the Federal Aviation Administration are jointly acquiring NEXRAD and have already deployed 132 NEXRAD at a cost of about $1.2 billion; (2) NEXRAD are replacing forty year old technology and offer increased coverage clarity and warning time for severe storms; (3) although NWS plans to provide improved national radar coverage, it has not decided where to relocate the NEXRAD network; (4) NEXRAD are not currently meeting Air Force and NWS availability requirements, due to insufficient monitoring and a lack of uninterruptible power supplies (UPS); and (5) in September 1995, NWS targeted funds for the necessary retrofit of UPS to purchase two NEXRAD.

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