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Public Information Statement

Statement as of 8:43 AM EDT on July 24, 2014

... WFO Greenville-Spartanburg installs new radar software...

A new software upgrade for WSR-88D radars... called sails... has
been installed on the kgsp WSR-88D. Sails stands for supplemental
adaptive intra-volume low level scan. This upgrade will enable the
radar to obtain low level scans more frequently during severe
weather events where radar sampling is more critical in the lower
atmosphere. Previously the WSR-88D scanned the atmosphere at
progressively higher angles. These scans would begin at .5 degrees
above the horizon and scan as high as 19.5 degrees. With sails
activated... the radar inserts an additional .5 degree scan in the
middle of the radar's vertical scan. As an example... this additional
low level scan can provide critical information to warning
meteorologists about developing tornadoes.

NWS meteorologists have the option of defining the scan strategy of
the wsr-88d's which means that sails can be activated or
de-activated depending on the meteorological situation. In the
southeast United States during the Summer months... pulse
thunderstorms are the most common severe storm threat and
tornadoes are rare. For pulse storms... warning meteorologists
depend more on high level scans to analyze storms capable of
producing large hail and damaging downburst winds. Hence... sails
may not be utilized much during the Summer months. The NWS will
notify users through chat and social media when the scan strategy
is changed. More information about sails can be obtained at:
http://www.Weather.Gov/gsp/sails. If you have questions... contact
Larry gabric... meteorologist in charge WFO gsp at 864-848-9970
x222 or e:mail Larry.Gabric@noaa.Gov.

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