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New Meteorological Radar Will Detect Volcanic Ash, Heavy Rain and Hail in Diameter of 120 Km

The new radar of the national weather service, the N Instituto Meteorológico Nacional (IMN) will detect in real time the threats from heavy rains in a diameter of 120 kilometers.

The new radar of the IMN measures one meter in dimater and weighs 400 kgs. Photo: Rafael Pacheco / La Nacion

Its instruments will also alert on the presence and direction of volcanic ash, as well as areas with hail.

On Friday, the head of forecasts of the IMN, Werner Stolz, indicated that it is a tool of great precision that will cover the entire Central Valley, as well as much of the north and Los Santos.

Stolz explained, that in the event of a volcanic eruption, the radar will pick up these particles and warn of the magnitude and direction, which will be of great help to aviation, as well as to the population that could be affected.

As hailstones are larger particles than ash, they are more easily detected. Cumulonimbus clouds are vertical and have a high water content, so their dark bases near the surface can generate tornadoes.

The radar will allow for faster reaction and with more time before extreme events, lives can be saved.

According to Stolz, from now on, the IMN can inform the population under radar coverage that at a specific point, within a period of less than two hours, an important event will occur from the meteorological point of view.

The radar has a cost of US$600,000 that includes the equipment, installation, calibration, and maintenance for two years, after which the IMN will take care of the equipment.

The director of the IMN, Juan Carlos Fallas, said the service is looking to install a similar equipment in the Caribbean and thus expand coverage to most of the national territory.

On Friday at 10:15 a.m. the radar only detected a few banks of clouds over our country. Photo: Hugo Solano / La Nacion

Hurricane Pre-season outlook

On Friday, June 1, the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season officially began and will end on November 30, 2018.

According to most forecasts—at least 26 groups issue them, including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Colorado State University (CSU) — it’s going to be pretty average (around seven hurricanes).

On April 5, 2018, the CSU released its forecast, predicting a slightly above-average season with 14 named storms, 7 hurricanes, and 3 major hurricanes. On May 24, the NOAA released their first forecasts, calling for a near to above average season in 2018. In contrast, on May 30, Tropical Storm Risk (TSR) released their updated prediction, significantly reducing their numbers to 9 named storms, 4 hurricanes and 1 major hurricane.

With climate change the storms will be more severe, and rising sea levels will make their effects worse. Last year, 2017, was the worst Atlantic season on record. According to everything hurricane researchers are learning, 2017 was the kind of hurricane season we should get used to.

Source (in Spanish): La Nacion

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