If you are a radar junkie like me, you know there are areas of the country that need a radar to fill in for poor coverage. Northeastern Missouri and western Illinois, southeastern Oklahoma, amongst others.
However, in November, Purdue University professor Robin Tanamachi announced that Purdue’s main campus in West Lafayette, IN, was going to get their own doppler radar. Their intent is to make all of its data available to outside entities, including AllisonHouse. It will also be made available to the National Weather Service, all in as real time as possible.
The history of University radars is that they provide few if any derived products, so they just give us Level 2 radar data from them. Although I cannot confirm it, I suspect these data will be in Level 2 format only. GRLevel3 users would be out of luck, but GRAnalyst and RadarScope users, for example, would be able to get the data. In many cases, the data may extend out only 60 miles for most products.
That having been said, this fills an important low level gap in the 88D radar network, as this area, westward into east-central Illinois, is between KILX (Lincoln, IL), KIND (Indianapolis) and KLOT (Romeoville/Chicago, IL). Thus, weak tornadoes and mesocyclones frequently go undetected in these parts of the two state area. This will no doubt improve tornado warning accuracy in the area once it is online.
Although there is no hard date for this to happen, Purdue hopes to have the data available sometime in the spring of 2018.