Meteorologist concerned about radar gap along southern Oregon co - KPTV - FOX 12

Meteorologist concerned about radar gap along southern Oregon coast

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OREGON COAST (KPTV) -

The recent surprising tornado on the Oregon coast should serve as a warning to other coastal communities not covered by the state's weather radar, members of the Portland area meteorology community said.

Matt Glazewski, a meteorology instructor at Portland Community College, said the EF-2 tornado that ripped through downtown Manzanita, would likely not have been detected by the state's radar system if it had touched down very much farther south.

"We were fortunate that we have some coverage from the Portland area radar for the areas of the north coast of Oregon, and we were able to see some of the rotation of the storm which was able to give a good warning," said Glazewski, who also used to work for the National Weather Service. "South of there, there's no coverage for a whole swath of the Oregon coast."

Because the storm that hit Manzanita was picked up on weather radar, the NWS was able to send out a warning minutes before it touched down.

Glazewski said that would likely not have been possible had the tornado touched down in Newport or Florence.

He and other members of the Portland meteorological community have been pushing for an additional radar station to be installed on the central coast, which would close the current gap.

"As many storms as we have that are constantly coming in from the Pacific, from west to east, you would think that we'd want to have the best information possible as the storms are coming ashore," said Glazewski.

A successful lobbying effort by meteorologists in Washington state was successful, ending with the installation of a radar station on Langley Hill, which closed a gap in coverage there.

A spokesperson for the National Weather Service said the concerns raised by Glazewski and others will be evaluated.

Glazewski said current lobbying efforts for the Oregon coast are focused on the area's congressional delegation.

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