A story in the “Wichita Eagle” contradicts part of the Eric Holthaus “Slate” story about which I wrote earlier.
A recent nationwide upgrade to the National Weather Service’s Doppler radar network has probably rendered storm chasers obsolete anyway. The new technology, called “dual polarization,” can help meteorologists confirm that a tornado is indeed causing damage. NOAA calls the upgrade “as good if not better than a spotter report of a tornado.”
On the other hand, “Eagle” reporter Stan Finger writes:
Storm spotters and well-educated chasers have an important role even before a tornado develops, officials say.
“The benefit of the spotter is not just to report the tornado,” said Bill Bunting, chief of the operations branch at the Storm Prediction Center in Norman. “The benefit is also to accurately describe the precursor conditions.”