NOAA 2002-R232
Contact: Ron Trumbla
NOAA News Releases 2002
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Officials from NOAA’s National Weather Service today broke ground for installation of a Doppler radar in Brandon, Miss., that will provide low-level detection of severe weather for residents across the state. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is an agency of the Commerce Department.

At a ceremony on the site where the radar will stand, keynote speaker, Third District Congressional Representative Charles “Chip” Pickering (R-Mississippi), was joined by retired Navy Vice Adm. Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Ph.D., undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator; Brig. Gen. David L. Johnson, Air Force director of weather; John Jones, National Weather Service, deputy director; Mac McLaughlin, chief program officer, National Weather Service Southern Region; and, Alan Gerard, Jackson weather forecast office meteorologist in charge.

The radar is being transferred to NOAA’s National Weather Service from the Air Force weather training facility at Keesler Air Force Base. The radar is scheduled to be operational early next year.

Representative Pickering said, “I am so pleased that our efforts to move the Doppler Radar have been successful. The move is critical to providing enhanced weather coverage to the residents of East Mississippi, and I am proud to be a part of it. Timely warnings of adverse weather conditions are vital to saving lives.”

“The enhanced coverage enables our weather forecast office in Jackson to further improve the level of weather service to help ensure the safety of our citizens in Mississippi,” said Lautenbacher. “Good things happen for Americans when their government listens and works together at the local, state and national level.”

With the support of Representative Pickering and Senators Trent Lott and Thad Cochran, last year a $3.1 million appropriation was enacted by Congress and approved by President George W. Bush to facilitate the transfer and installation of the Keesler radar to the new site in Brandon.

Located atop a 30 meter tower, the new Brandon radar will result in optimum coverage across the entire area.

National Weather Service Deputy Director John Jones noted the agency worked with the Air Force to transfer the new radar from Keesler Air Force base in Mississippi. “The Air Force showed a tremendous spirit of cooperation in working with us to move their training radar to the new site,” said Jones.

“This cooperative effort is good government practice, doing what is right for the nation while continuing to forge a strong relationship between Air Force Weather and the National Weather Service,” said Johnson.

NOAA's National Weather Service is the primary source of weather data, forecasts and warnings for the United States and its territories. The National Weather Service operates the most advanced weather and flood warning and forecast system in the world, helping to protect lives and property and enhance the national economy.

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