RENO, Nev. (AP) - A new mountaintop radar system being installed north of Reno is going to make it easier for forecasters at the National Weather Service to determine if a big rain or snowstorm is on the way.
Meteorologist Dawn Fishler says the new system at the service's facility on the 8,000-foot Virginia Peak just south of Pyramid Lake is the biggest upgrade they've had in 20 years.
It involves new technology called dual polarization radar, or "dual-pol." Fishler told the Reno Gazette-Journal (http://on.rgj.com/PZuhwn ) it's better than the Doppler radar that debuted in the early 1990s because it sends radar pulses on both horizontal and vertical planes instead of just horizontal.
It will allow forecasters to more accurately determine whether precipitation is falling in the form of rain or snow at various altitudes.