Tuesday, September 6, 2011
The tornado that killed 17 people when it hit the Wichita suburb of Andover in 1991 has proven to be a lifesaver for others.
Two national weather service officials say the April 26, 1991, tornado hit when a new radar system was being field-tested. The radar performed so well that it was approved for production.
The Andover tornado was part of a weather system that spawned more than 50 tornadoes in six states.
The new radar, called NEXRAD, allowed meteorologists to issue more warnings, and with greater accuracy, during the outbreak.
Installation of the NEXRAD at weather service offices began in 1992.
Meterologist Mike Smith says since then, NEXRAD has saved countless lives, including in Greensburg in 2007.