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Mon August 22, 2005
Tornado Detection in Campbell County Difficult
Laramie, Wy – Some people in Wright say they didn't get enough warning before a tornado struck on August 12th killing two people.
Part of the problem is that radar systems used to track the weather don't cover Wright very well. Meteorologist Eric Gardner of Rapid City, South Dakota, calls Campbell County and northern Converse County, quote "the black hole of Doppler radar coverage."
That's because the nearest weather stations -- Riverton to the west, and New Underwood to the east -- are too far away to get good low-altitude images of Wright. They can see thunderstorms just fine, but tornadoes form closer to the ground, and out of sight from the radar stations.
David Carpenter is a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Rapid City. He says it's probably too expensive to build another radar station. The New Underwood station cost one-point-seven-five million dollars back in 1995.