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WDAY METEOROLOGISTS DARYL RITCHISON, LEFT, AND JOHN WHEELER are both enjoying the benefits of an enhanced weather forecasting system, which debuted on the Fargo television station Thursday. Feb. 2.

WDAY unveils new way to watch weather

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Weather may not be an exact science, but with the new weather tracking system that made its debut on WDAY/WDAZ TV in Fargo on Thursday, residents of the Red River Valley and surrounding areas will be getting forecasts that are a lot more accurate than in the past.

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"We'll have much more detailed information than we've ever had before," says WDAY meteorologist Daryl Ritchison. "One of the big advantages of this system for us is that we will have access to multiple live feeds of the Doppler radars in the area ... that covers most of the upper Midwest."

The new equipment will also enable the WDAY meteorologists to pinpoint areas of heavy snowfall much more accurately -- for instance, when a narrow band of heavy snowfall passes over a major population area, they'll be able to track it better.

"That makes a big difference," Ritchison says. "(The new equipment) will allow us to much more accurately detect exactly where the snow is falling."

In the summer, the new system will enable forecasters to not only detect where hail is falling, but the size of the hail itself -- which is very important when assessing the potential damage that a storm can cause, Ritchison noted.

"We'll be able to detect low level circulations, which is very important for (tracking potential) tornadic development," he added.

And the graphics that WDAY viewers can now see during weather broadcasts are also much more detailed.

"Not only does it look prettier, but it's easier on the eye," Ritchison says. "It's more detailed information that's easier to digest -- a cleaner look, with high definition graphics."

"This new system will be presented in wide screen and adds a lot of new features for tracking severe weather in our area," says WDAY news director Jeff Nelson.

"It has some of the best graphics and will allow us to track storms anywhere in the country."

With tools like HailVision, RainVision, SnowVision and IceVision, the new radar system "will allow the WDAY/WDAZ weather team to forecast precipitation estimates for any point in our area, regardless of the weather type," he added.

Being able to show so much more detailed information on air will be particularly satisfying for all the "weather geeks" out there, Ritchison said.

"(Viewers can) see details that they couldn't before. We're real excited -- it's a great tool, not only for us, but for our viewing audience," he added. "Weather plays a really big, important role in all our lives."

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Vicki Gerdes
Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers for the past 14 years, currently editor of the entertainment and community pages as well as obituaries. Living in DL with my cat, Smokey.
(218) 844-1454
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