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As Delta makes landfall, Southwest Louisiana is still without a working radar

It’s mobile radar to the rescue, and not a moment too soon.



a small clock tower in the middle of a field: The radar dome at the NWS Lake Charles sits on top of a tower that was battered by winds and is now out of commission as another hurricane heads toward it.


© NWS Lake Charles
The radar dome at the NWS Lake Charles sits on top of a tower that was battered by winds and is now out of commission as another hurricane heads toward it.

This is the story of how a moving research radar will be helping the Lake Charles, Louisiana, National Weather Service (NWS) outpost, whose radar was broken during Hurricane Laura.

The Lake Charles NWS office and radar are both located at the Lake Charles Regional Airport, which also took a significant hit during Laura.

The radar dome sits on top of an over 60-foot tower, and since wind speeds are often stronger the higher you go up, this likely led to its demise.

The problem is, the radar equipment is still not fixed, and another hurricane arrived Friday night in the the same area of Louisiana.



a person riding on the back of a truck: The SMART radar deployed to Louisiana


© Provided by CNN
The SMART radar deployed to Louisiana

Normally, when one radar site goes out, other nearby NWS offices can step in since many radar sites overlap a little.

“We have multiple radars to use, including one in Houston, Fort Polk, and Slidell,” said Roger Erickson, Warning Coordination Meteorologist for the Lake Charles NWS Office.

But those neighboring radars don’t cover the entire area, so what do you do about the gaps left behind?

“For this hurricane, we will have a portable doppler radar as well,” Erickson added.

A mobile radar, that is primarily used for research has been deployed to Louisiana to help fill in those gaps, and also provide high resolution, low-level data as well.



a young boy standing in front of a computer: Addison Alford inside the SMART radar


© Provided by CNN
Addison Alford inside the SMART radar

“In this particular case, the Shared Mobile Atmospheric Research and Teaching (SMART) Radar is here to enhance the existing coverage and provide high resolution data where the eye and eyewall are expected to pass,” says Addison Alford, a graduate research assistant at the University of Oklahoma. “In past research deployments of the SMART Radars in hurricanes, we routinely transmit our data to a webpage that can assist the NOAA NWS in their critical mission to provide life-saving warnings to the public.”



a person standing on top of a grass covered field: Damaged radar in Puerto Rico from Hurricane Maria


© National Weather Service/National Weather Service/National Weather Service
Damaged radar in Puerto Rico from Hurricane Maria

Addison will personally be on that mobile radar truck assisting with those critical, life-saving operations.

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“University of Oklahoma Professor, Dr. Mike Biggerstaff, is the director of the SMART Radar Program and is leading this particular mission. Mr. Gordon Carrie, a data scientist at the university, has helped deploy the SMART Radars for 11 land-falling hurricanes and is managing the real-time transmission of our data. Hurricane Delta will be my eighth land-falling hurricane with the SMART Radars.”

And they won’t just help with the landfall, they will work with NOAA to determine when to shut down the system.

“That will likely be when Hurricane Delta has moved inland into northern Louisiana, beyond our operational radar range,” Alford explains.

So what exactly

As Delta barrels toward the coast Southwest Louisiana is still without a working radar

It’s mobile radar to the rescue, and not a moment too soon.



a small clock tower in the middle of a field: The radar dome at the NWS Lake Charles sits on top of a tower that was battered by winds and is now out of commission as another hurricane heads toward it.


© NWS Lake Charles
The radar dome at the NWS Lake Charles sits on top of a tower that was battered by winds and is now out of commission as another hurricane heads toward it.

This is the story of how a moving research radar will be helping the Lake Charles, Louisiana, National Weather Service (NWS) outpost, whose radar was broken during Hurricane Laura.

The Lake Charles NWS office and radar are both located at the Lake Charles Regional Airport, which also took a significant hit during Laura.

The radar dome sits on top of an over 60 foot tower, and since wind speeds are often stronger the higher you go up, this likely led to its demise.

The problem is, the radar equipment is still not fixed, and another hurricane is on its way to the same area of Louisiana.



a person riding on the back of a truck: The SMART radar deployed to Louisiana


© Provided by CNN
The SMART radar deployed to Louisiana

Normally when one radar site goes out, other nearby NWS offices can step in since many radar sites overlap a little.

“We have multiple radars to use, including one in Houston, Fort Polk, and Slidell,” said Roger Erickson, Warning Coordination Meteorologist for the Lake Charles NWS Office.

But those neighboring radars don’t cover the entire area, so what do you do about the gaps left behind?

“For this hurricane, we will have a portable doppler radar as well,” Erickson added.

A mobile radar, that is primarily used for research has been deployed to Louisiana to help fill in those gaps, and also provide high resolution, low-level data as well.



a young boy standing in front of a computer: Addison Alford inside the SMART radar


© Provided by CNN
Addison Alford inside the SMART radar

“In this particular case, the Shared Mobile Atmospheric Research and Teaching (SMART) Radar is here to enhance the existing coverage and provide high resolution data where the eye and eyewall are expected to pass,” says Addison Alford, a graduate research assistant at the University of Oklahoma. “In past research deployments of the SMART Radars in hurricanes, we routinely transmit our data to a webpage that can assist the NOAA NWS in their critical mission to provide life-saving warnings to the public.”



a person standing on top of a grass covered field: Damaged radar in Puerto Rico from Hurricane Maria


© National Weather Service/National Weather Service/National Weather Service
Damaged radar in Puerto Rico from Hurricane Maria

Addison will personally be on that mobile radar truck assisting with those critical, life-saving operations.

Loading...

Load Error

“University of Oklahoma Professor, Dr. Mike Biggerstaff, is the director of the SMART Radar Program and is leading this particular mission. Mr. Gordon Carrie, a data scientist at the university, has helped deploy the SMART Radars for 11 land-falling hurricanes and is managing the real-time transmission of our data. Hurricane Delta will be my eighth land-falling hurricane with the SMART Radars.”

And they won’t just help with the landfall, they will work with NOAA to determine when to shut down the system.

“That will likely be when Hurricane Delta has moved inland into northern Louisiana, beyond our operational radar range,” Alford explains.

So what

College football games, Week 6: With ACC in spotlight, will Miami be more than a blip on Clemson’s radar?

It’s been almost a year since Trevor Lawrence has thrown an interception. Short of an actual upset of No. 1 Clemson on Saturday night, that might be what’s most at stake for No. 7 Miami.

On the way to their five straight College Football Playoff appearances, you may have heard the Tigers have skated through the ACC as well. Clemson is 40-2 in the league over the last five seasons. Conference foes seldom come close, leading to a different definition of “big game” at Clemson than in the rest of the conference.

“Statement games are only statement games until there is another statement game,” Miami coach Manny Diaz said this week. “That goalpost and whatever statement you’re trying to make always moves. We’re trying to get ourselves in a position where playing these types of games for Miami aren’t extraordinary.”

Miami has joined the legions of ACC teams that have been rolled by Clemson on its current run. In 2015, the Hurricanes suffered their worst-ever loss (58-0 to Clemson). The last time Miami was any good, it got slammed by Clemson 38-3 in the 2017 ACC Championship Game.

Since then, the Canes are 16-14. The Tigers are 32-2, trying to win their 25th consecutive ACC game on Saturday. Clemson is favored by two touchdowns, according to William Hill Sportsbook, the closest spread Lawrence has faced as a regular-season starter.

Cause for concern?

“This is not a big game for Clemson,” Diaz said. “This is what they do.”

The truth is in there somewhere at the intersection of coachspeak and reality.

“I just know, historically, Miami has always been a powerhouse,” Lawrence said. “They’ve just always had a certain swag about them that — when you play them — you know what you’re going to get.”

No one is comparing this team to the vintage Canes. And the next fan who asks, “Is Miami back?” should have their remote taken away. For now, quarterback D’Eriq King gives his team a chance. The Canes have been winning by 24 points per game. There is more team speed. Clemson and Miami are 1-2 nationally in both sacks and tackles for loss since 2016.

But imagine the Turnover Chain celebration if the Canes were able to break Lawrence’s streak that now stands at 314 passes without a pick?

“In the moment, a turnover is large,” Miami safety Amari Carter said, “… but at the end of the day, we’re looking to win [not] celebrate or get too happy we’ve got an interception off a quarterback who doesn’t have an interception.”

Not bad for a guy who came out of last September leading the ACC in interceptions. Lawrence last threw a pick Oct. 19, 2019, against Louisville (two, in fact). He has a ways to go before approaching the all-time record. Louisiana Tech’s Colby Cameron went 444 throws without an INT in 2011-12.

Lawrence’s current streak is the third-longest in ACC history. He needs 26 more throws without an interception to pass NC State’s Ryan