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Weather Service Radar has its limitations


GRAND RAPIDS (WKZO) --The National Weather Service probably couldn’t detect a tornado bearing down on the city of Kalamazoo with its current radar system, even if they were looking right at it, and new software they plan to install yet this month will not change that.

Meteorologist Wayne Hoepner says the software improvements will give them more data, leaving fewer gaps as the dish swings around in its 360-degree pattern.

But he says it won’t help them see over the horizon, the lowest they can see over Kalamazoo is about 3700 feet, shooting over anything under the clouds, including tornadoes that rank low on the Enhanced Fujita scale. .

This week’s storm in Kentwood has shown the system has serious limitations.