Updated:ATLANTA,None — Channel 2 Action News is taking storm tracking to a whole new level with a cutting edge radar that's the first of its kind in Georgia and only the second in the world.
Severe Weather Team 2 chief meteorologist Glenn Burns oversaw the installation of the Klystron.
The radar is a revolutionary tool in forecasting severe weather events, according to Burns.
Channel 2 Installs Cutting Edge Radar
"Currently, with conventional radar, it takes 6 minutes for it to make one scan of a thunderstorm, that's why the images are a little delayed."
"With our new dual pol technology, the radar makes six scans in less than one minute. That's real-time radar, life-saving, since the average life of a tornado in Georgia is one to two minutes," Burns said.
The new radar is in the heart of Georgia's tornado alley, the city of Buchanan in Haralson County.
Installing the technology required impressive machinery that moved with precision, including the largest mobile crane in the country.
It took 14 tractor-trailer loads to bring the crane to Buchanan. The crane was assembled entirely with pins knocked into place by sledgehammers.
First the crane removed the old radar from the 350-foot tall tower, and then installed the new radar.
"In conventional radar, we have a dish and it sends out a horizontal pulse of energy. It goes into a thunderstorm and it will strike a solid object, like hail or raindrop or snow and then get reflected back," said Burns.
"We can tell a little bit about how large the hail is, however, with our new Klystron dual-pol Doppler radar, this is a complete game changer. It sends out a horizontal pulse and a vertical pulse at the same time and when it strikes a thunderstorm, it can see how large the hail is to exact measurements," Burns added.
Crews also installed a high-tech radome over the radar dish.
"The composite material allows the radar beam to really move through with a lot more energy and it sheds rain completely," Burns said.
"We'll also be able to see storms farther away than we have before. The old radar could track 150 miles away, the new Klystron doubles that," Burns explained.
WEB EXCLUSIVE: Installing The New Radar