DURANGO — The location of a new permanent weather station for the Four Corners region has been announced.
La Plata County and the Southern Ute Indian Tribe said Monday they plan to build the station on tribal lands about 15 miles south of Durango.
The radar system is expected to fill a notorious blind spot for weather and radar modeling, the Durango Herald reported. The area’s major hubs currently process data at elevations too high to accurately model the region.
“It might not be perfect, but it’s good,” said La Plata County spokeswoman Megan Graham of the proposed weather station. “It’s going to fill the gaps that are currently problematic for this region.”
The Four Corners consists of the southwestern corner of Colorado, the southeastern corner of Utah, the northeastern corner of Arizona and northwestern corner of New Mexico.
In Grand Junction, the current radar system cannot locate storms coming into the Four Corners below 28,000 feet in altitude. That means weather forecasters miss many incoming storms.
The proposed site is currently the location of an air monitoring station that tracks air quality. The new radar system is scheduled to begin operations by the end of 2021.
The need for a functioning radar system in the area was made evident after the 416 fire in 2018 in southwest Colorado created flood danger when storms hit the fire’s burn scar, the Herald reported.
In 2019, the Colorado Department of Local Affairs allocated $1.7 million to fund a new weather radar system.
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