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MONROE, La. (AP) — A gap in northeastern Louisiana weather coverage is about to be filled.
Construction has started on a state-of-the-art Doppler weather radar system for the University of Louisiana at Monroe, the New-Star reports (http://tnsne.ws/1RgxNj2).
The university held a ceremonial groundbreaking Wednesday for the $3 million project that is being funded by the Louisiana Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness.
Enterprise Electronics is building the radar system off site and plans to deliver it to the university in the fall.
The radar system will be available to the Louisiana government, the National Weather Service and the region's various media outlets.
Currently the nearest National Weather Service radars to Monroe are in Shreveport and Jackson, Miss.
"By putting a radar in Monroe, we'll actually be able to see what's happening closer to the surface, which means better coverage, better data and hopefully better warning times when severe weather occurs," said Anne Case Hanks, the coordinator of ULM's atmospheric science program.
ULM, which is the only university in the state that offers an atmospheric science program, says it will give students hands-on training with the radar.
The school also will add a radar meteorology class to the atmospheric science curriculum.
"They'll get the chance to learn to operate the radar, analyze the data and learn to forecast," Hanks said.
Monroe Mayor Jamie Mayo, ULM President Nick Bruno and students in the atmospheric science program were among those who participated in the groundbreaking ceremony.
Information from: The News-Star, http://www.thenewsstar.com
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