StormRanger: Delivering You the Most Accurate Weather Forecast

NBC4’s exclusive StormRanger mobile radar truck is a one-of-a-kind vehicle that has a live, high-powered Doppler Radar that enables StormRanger to get out ahead of a storm. The StormRanger can track storms wherever they are with a higher degree of accuracy and with more detail than ever before.

    How StormRanger Gives You The Most Accurate Forecast

  • StormRanger is a Doppler Radar on wheels. It can easily move to where the storm is headed and fills in gaps left by the current fixed radar network.

  • Location of the radar close to the ground allows us to see into the storm in a way fixed radars can’t.

  • The shorter 100-mile range signal ensures a better pulse and better accuracy - which means a more detailed look into the gaps other radars miss.

  • The higher resolution, dual-pol radar beam allows it to better see snow, hail, and the debris field of a tornado.

From increased visibility in the heart of a storm to the ability to alert people in real time that a tornado has touched down because it can detect actual debris on the ground, StormRanger is the latest addition to NBC4’s expanding weather arsenal designed to keep you and your family safe when severe weather strikes.

"This radar technology and mobile configuration is a first for any TV station or network of stations in the U.S," said Richard Stedronsky, a meteorologist and director of strategic business development and partnerships at Enterprise Electronics Corporation. "NBC-Telemundo is the first to deploy this fleet of mobile doppler radars in the nation."

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NBC4’s StormRanger can track storms wherever they are with a higher degree of accuracy and with more detail than ever before. Chuck Henry reports for the NBC4 News on Friday, Aug. 5, 2016.

"We are boosting our weather forecasting capabilities by building, from scratch, the first-of-its-kind fleet of mobile weather radars in the country because we know how important weather is to our viewers," said Valari Staab, President, NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations. "All of our stations will have access to this groundbreaking weather technology so they can deliver even more lifesaving weather information to their communities."

So what makes the StormRanger so unique in delivering you the most accurate forecast?


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When severe weather approaches, NBC4 now has the ability to dispatch StormRanger to wherever the storm is going to strike. Using X-band, dual-polarization Doppler radar, StormRanger can provide our meteorologists with more detailed observations than any normal fixed radar can provide, giving them — and you — a hyperlocal look at the storm.

See StormRanger radar in action here »

StormRanger vs. Fixed Radars: Weather Recognition

"When you start to get over 100 miles away from the radar, the radar beam from a fixed radar is too high in the atmosphere to see lower weather phenomena,” said Stedronsky, whose company provides the new radar system in StormRanger. "But that’s where severe weather takes place -- in the lowest parts of the atmosphere. With StormRanger, you can take your viewers to the weather and gather information that a traditional fixed radar could be missing.”

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StormRanger's radar, which has a maximum range of about 100 miles, will update about once every 60 seconds. These updates mean you'll be up-to-the-minute when tracking how and when the weather will impact you in your crucial locations such as your home and where you currently are. Our app users will receive push alerts when StormRanger is activated, allowing them to get a closer -- and more accurate -- look at the weather in their neighborhoods.

By driving StormRanger close to actual storms, NBC4 will be able to give a detailed look that TV stations never have been able to do before. Fixed radars may miss certain weather events due to terrain or blockages due to buildings in a downtown area. But StormRanger can fill in those gaps in coverage, and in turn provide a more complete picture of what is happening now and what those immediately in the crosshairs of a severe storm can expect.


What makes StormRanger so unique?

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Mobility is StormRanger’s big advantage over fixed radar during severe thunderstorms. By positioning StormRanger wherever severe storms are about to strike, meteorologists will get a better idea of how the storms are forming, how severe they are and where and how fast they’re moving.

"This advanced look that you’ll get from a StormRanger means you’re giving more accurate and timely information to a viewer,” Stedronsky said.

Get accurate 10-day and hourly forecasts here »



When there is a threat of a tornado, a StormRanger can detect much more than a fixed radar is capable of thanks to its state-of-the-art X-band dual-polarization Doppler radar system. The dual polarization allows meteorologists to detect what type of precipitation or debris is in the air - whether it is rain, hail or, in the case of tornadoes, debris created by a twister on the ground.

"Being able to see that debris signature -- what we call a debris ball -- from a tornado allowed meteorologists and viewers to understand that there is a tornado on the ground causing damage and kicking up debris, and that is all seen on the StormRanger radar," Stedronsky said.


During snowstorms, StormRanger can help provide a more accurate outlook on snowfall measurements by finding the rain/snow line - that area where rain can turn into ice or snow. Identifying those in-between areas can mean a world of difference when it comes to predicting whether an area will receive just an inch or two of snow as opposed to 12 inches or more.

"That's very important to understand where that's at and where it's moving," Stedronsky said, "because that tells you what's going on in the atmosphere and if people need to prepare for liquid precipitation or snow."


During fire season, StormRanger can be an asset to the public as well as fire departments and government leaders. The StormRanger’s X-band radar is able to detect much smaller particles than a larger fixed radar.

"What this means is that you can see more of the smoke plumes even if there are smaller particles in the plumes compared with a larger, traditional weather service radar," Stedronsky said.

In addition to radar, StormRanger has a two cameras to give you an up-close look at conditions - one on the dashboard, and one pointed at a reporter riding in the vehicle.

“The information you're going to get on a local level is going to be unprecedented,” said Tom Jennings, president of Accelerated Media Technologies, which did the customization required to integrate the radar system into StormRanger. “You’re going to get such high-resolution weather telemetry out of these trucks that you’ll know exactly what the weather’s doing in your neighborhood, not just theoretically what it’s doing across your state or county."

See how you can view StormRanger online »

Stedronsky says the key to it all is having full control of a mobile radar unit that can be sent to any storm, at any time.

“That’s going to be huge for protecting people and assets and saving lives,” Stedronsky said.

NBC4 is committed to bringing you the most accurate weather information possible, and StormRanger is just the latest investment we’re making into weather-related technologies to do just that. StormRanger is here to serve your community, and ensure that our weather team is your most-trusted source when severe storms strike.

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