MU will install a dual-polarization Doppler radar as part of the five-year Missouri Transect project, which is funded by a $20 million grant from the National Science Foundation. The new radar will improve the precision of weather forecasts for mid-Missouri residents.
John Walker, MU curators’ professor of biological sciences, is the principal investigator of the project. He said the project’s original goal was to answer the question of how climate change affects plant productivity, both in native ecosystems and agricultural systems. Walker said the dual-polarization radar will help answer this question by providing more complete data, closer to the ground. Unlike traditional Doppler radars, dual-polarization scans vertically as well as horizontally, proving a three-dimensional image of weather systems.