Charlotte Station WBTV Adds Weather Radar It Calls a ‘Game Changer’

By Kevin Eck 

Charlotte CBS affiliate WBTV said it’s the first station in the U.S. to use what it calls a “revolutionary” new Radar as a Service (RaaS) system with a resolution up to ten times higher than the NEXRAD radars used by the National Weather Service.

“As a station, we have been fighting for decades for better radar coverage to protect our area,” said WBTV chief meteorologist Al Conklin. “The National Weather Service has been able to make some upgrades to their radars over the years, but they still sit way too far away to give the city the resolution needed or to aim low enough in the atmosphere for the most accurate reading. This new radar fills the gaps better than anything else available.”

While the National Weather Service’s S-band radars can take anywhere from 5 to 6 minutes to provide complete images of storms, WBTV’s newest radar uses X-Band dual-polarity technology and can provide real-time radar information at 10x resolution at a faster refresh rate. Which means WBTV’s viewers have more time to take action when severe weather threatens.


“We’ve never seen a more detailed look at precipitation or storms than we have with the new radar joining the First Alert Radar Network,” Conklin said. “This is a game changer.”

“Every second counts, so practically eliminating any time gap is a very big deal,” Conklin added.