Congressman Robert Pittenger

Representing the 9th District of North Carolina
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Pittenger continues push for Charlotte radar

Mar 24, 2016
Press Release





CHARLOTTE – Charlotte is the largest metropolitan area in the United States without a National Weather Service Doppler radar facility.  Technically, the Charlotte region is covered by radar in Greenville-Spartanburg, but those signals are too high up in the atmosphere to provide adequate coverage by the time they reach Charlotte.

As a result, the National Weather Service missed signs of a developing tornado in 2012 and didn’t issue a warning until 10 minutes after that tornado damaged a neighborhood in northeast Charlotte.  The inadequate radar coverage also resulted in a warning for the wrong neighborhood in 2013.

On Wednesday, Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) officially requested the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, and Science include language in FY2017 appropriations bills requiring the Secretary of Commerce to study radar coverage gaps in major metropolitan areas and quickly develop a plan to fix deficiencies. 

This is in addition to Congressman Pittenger’s Metropolitan Weather Hazards Protection Act (H.R. 3538), which would require a National Weather Service Doppler radar facility in any metropolitan area of 700,000 or more.  HR 3538 was introduced in September and is currently under consideration by the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology.

“Just like our successful effort to secure funding for the vital new control tower at Charlotte-Douglas, this effort to bring adequate Doppler radar coverage to the Charlotte region will likely take several different paths,” said Congressman Pittenger.  “We are still working to advance the original legislation, and we are now adding this effort through the appropriations process, and we will continue to knock on every possible door until we find a solution.”

Senators Richard Burr (R-NC) and Thom Tillis (R-NC) are also involved in this effort, working to advance Senate legislation requiring a Doppler radar facility in Charlotte.  Greensboro Congresswoman Alma Adams (NC-12) and Chapel Hill Congressman David Price (NC-04) joined Congressman Pittenger in co-signing Wednesday’s appropriations request.