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Cornelius News

The weather forecast is so often up in the air because of the radar gap

There’s a weather radar gap in Charlotte

July 28. Speaking of the weather, US Rep. Jeff Jackson (D-NC) introduced HR 4912 to close the weather radar gap in Charlotte with the successor to the current Next Generation Weather Radar (NEXRAD), which will phase out over the next decade.

The Charlotte region is one of the largest metropolitan areas in the country that isn’t covered by a nearby radar, endangering millions of people, he said.

80 miles away

The closest National Weather Service NEXRAD doppler radar system is in Greer, SC, 80+ miles from Charlotte. The further away these systems are, the less they can detect weather close to the ground, meaning they can miss low-altitude storms and tornadoes.


Seconds matter

“Every second matters when warning the public about severe weather. We should equip meteorologists and emergency management departments with accurate and real-time information to keep the public safe,” Jackson said. “The people of Charlotte shouldn’t be at risk because of a problem that has such a straightforward solution.”

It is not for lack of knowledge or technology that there’s a radar gap in Charlotte. Jackson said it goes back to the decision made in the 1980s to not put a NEXRAD within 75 miles of Charlotte.