Saturday, September 14, 2013

TDWR to the Rescue

The flooding in Colorado has disrupted telecommunications, halting the the flow and distribution of radar data from the Salt Lake City radar (KMTX).  What is a meteorologist or weather enthusiast to do?

One option is to use the Salt Lake City Terminal Doppler Weather Radar (TDWR).  The TDWR is a smaller, shorter-range radar deployed primarily to detect wind shear for aircraft safety.  Nevertheless, it provides high quality radar images just like KMTX.  Below is an example of the imagery of this afternoon's thunderstorms.

The TDWR is located near the shore of the Great Salt Lake west of Centerville.  It thus has the advantage of providing radar scans at much lower elevations over the Salt Lake Valley compared to KMTX (which is at 6800 ft on top of Promontory Point).  On the other hand, it is completely blocked by the Wasatch Mountains to the east, and thus provides no guidance on what is happening on the Wasatch Back and beyond.

If you need a radar fix, you can access the Salt Lake TDWR data at this Weather Underground site.


  1. Very timely post for me, thank you. At about 5:30 tonight we will be in Sugar House trying to decide whether to set up outdoors or in the garage for a backyard concert. I suspect we will be in the garage, but this will help make the decision.

  2. Dr Jim, Thanks!! I*was starting to go into Doppler withdrawal .