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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 1999 > Jan > Jan 2

(1994) NEXRAD Weather Radar Info

From: Bob Soetebier <bikebob@mo.net>
Date: Thu, 31 Dec 1998 22:18:33 -0600 (CST)
Fwd Date: Sat, 02 Jan 1999 08:19:18 -0500
Subject: (1994) NEXRAD Weather Radar Info

Considering the current [Hoagland] weather radar "anomalies"
controversy, I thought you all might (or, might not) find the
following (appended below) information about NEXRAD weather
radar of interest. The first part is information that I
personally typed up and had subsequently publicly posted on "The
Weather Room" subject public message area of a St. Louis
[Missouri] metro area "WWIV"-based electronic BBS back in 1994.
The second and third parts are public responses from the
"moderator" ("Badger #106"...who also happened to be an employee
of the National Weather Service facility in nearby St. Charles
County, Missouri) of "The Weather Room" sub to the NEXRAD
controversy information I had posted.

Bob Soetebier

St. Louis County, Missouri

  Tailwinds to you...      See you ON the road!

  /// BICYCLE BOB ///      bikebob@mo.net


 By chance, I just happened to vaguely be listening to today's
[3-3-94; St. Louis, MO] Montel Williams TV talk show (while
working on the computer, of course.) The show's subject was the
apparent raging controversy over the placement of the National
Weather Service's 150 ELF/microwave (NEXTRAD, I believe) weather
radar towers (like the newly-installed one in our area at Weldon
Springs, MO --- apparently, there are two other NEXTRAD
locations out near K.C., and also somewhere southward of K.C.,

  The show featured residents of Ojay, CA in Ventura County
(about 100 miles or so north of L.A.) including Larry Hagman [of
"I Dream of Jennie"/"Dallas" fame] who's $5-million home (which
took five years to build) is now located only a couple of
hundred yards within *direct* line-of-sight of a brand new
100-foot NEXTRAD (38' in diamater microwave dome-top) tower atop
Ojay's Silver Mtn. The entire tower was literally put up within
48-hours over Thanksgiving weekend, virtually without any real
notification or discussion to area residents, nor environmental
impact statements, and violating local area building codes on
*non* federal gov't. property. (Apparently, the Nat'l. Weather
Service chose the Silver Mtn. top location -- literally just
above and adjacent to hundreds of private homes in Ojay
[pronounced "OH HI", by the way] -- instead of placing it on
other just as suitable locations miles away on property already
owned by the fed. gov't.)

Each one of the 150 NEXTRAD radar units will cost the U.S.
taxpayers $2.5 million. But, that's not where the *major*
contoversy apparently lies. What concerns these folks (and me
too) is the fact that the ELF/microwave emmissions from these
new towers are at least well over 1000 times more powerful than
the old radar units (and/or the highest powered mountaintop
radio antennaes already in place; if I caught the info on the
show correctly, that is.) --- Because of attendant public health
concerns, the NWS was forced (or "agreed to") move (*before*
they were allowed to be erected) their New York-area NEXTRAD to
a remote location on Long Island.

NWS Dir. "Joe" Friday was on the show and tried to
diplomatically assuage public fears over the 150 new radar
installations, but was not able to do so in the face of
testimony given by the Ojay, CA residents on the show, an
epidemialogical research doctor who noted the direct connection
of such ELF/microwave irradiation from such radar facilities and
direct human health problems such as cancer and deleterious
brain and eye problems, and Montel Williams' own statements
concerning his *direct* knowledge of dire hazard warnings in
working near or around ELF/microwave transmission during his
military service (in the Navy or Marines, I believe.) In MW's
words: "We were told never to go topside while they were
transmitting or we would be 'smoked.' " Ojay area residents said
they have since learned that NWS personell have been warned
never to stand or walk by or in front of the transmission beam
or they could or would suffer permanent deleterious helth
effects. They (the residents) also said they had been told of
problems of dead birds around such NWS ELF/microwave towers

U.S. Rep Elton Gallegly (R-CA) who represents the Ojay,
CA/Ventura County area was on the show. He said he had weeks ago
written Ron Brown, Secretary of the U.S. Commerce Dept. [which
oversees the NWS] requesting info on the 150 new weather radar
installations and any possible health concerns, without (as yet)
a reply. He promises to persue this matter this matter on the
national level.

[By the way, the effective long-range transmission/emmission of
the Nat'l. Weather Service NEXTRAD ELF/microwave towers is 250
miles, with a detailed storm analysis range of 125 miles.]


Msg #: [31/32]             Base: The Weather Room (Local)
Date : Fri 11 Mar 1994 8:48a      Stat: Public
From : Badger #106
To  : Bicycle Bob #146
Title: Re: New Weather Radar Health Problems; Specifics about the
Ojai, CA Site

The only precautions taken around the radar is to shut it off
when electronic technicians enter the dome to do maintanence.

I can only pass-on what has been told to me and frankly, whether
its true or not, doesn't really bother me.

Based on accepted safety standards, scientific studies to date
on Radio Frequency Radiation (RFR) energy indicate that there is
no health risk posed by operation of the WSR-88D radars. The
radar exceeds all scientific safety standards. WSR-88D weather
radars emit non-ionizing RFR energy and levels emitted by the
radar are below the minimum safety limits.

The radar only emits a signal for 6 sec of every hour. The rest
of the time is spent listening. The safety standards established
by the American National Standards Institute (ASNI) and the
Institute of Electronic and Electrical Engineers (IEEE) include
a safety factor of 50 in the standard. At ground level 1/2 mile
from the radar, the strength of the signal is 100,000 times
below the ANSI/IEEE standards.

A person standing at an operating WSR-88D tower receives 2000
time less than the maximum safe level of exposure to RFR
according to these groups.

I could go on and on, but this sort of bores me. Here's the
specifics about the Ojai site. (I won't bother much with
specifics about the radiation since we already covered that. The
NWS feels there is no danger from that.)

As far as the site goes, the NWS prepared a Prorammatic
Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) in Nov.1984 to comply with
the National Environmental Policy Act. The PEIS was filed with
all state clearing houses, including the CA Office of Planning
and Research, in accordance with Guidelines of the Council on
Environmental Quality.

In April 1986, NWS issued a Preliminary Site survey for the
Sulphur Mountain site, including an initial Environmental
Assessment considering potential impacts of a WSR-88D site on
resources in the area.

In August 1987, NWS issued an in-depth site survey for the site
again, which was update again in April 1993.

In January 1989, the director of NOAA's Ecology and
Environmental Conservation Office signed a Finding of No
Significant Impact (FONSI) with respect to the site based on
1984 PEIS and the 1986,1987 surveys.

In February 1989, the FONSI was filed with the California State
clearinghouse, which replied with a letter of 'no response' on
March 15, 1989.

On March 10,1989, the Jan.1989 FONSI was filed with the
California Association of Governments, the local clearinghouse,
which did not respond.

On March 26, 1993, NOAA issued a draft supplemental
Environmental Assessment (SEA) reviewing all pertinent studies
related to the bioeffects of non-ionizing high frequency
radiation that had been conducted since the 1984 PEIS.

On July 15, 1993, a FONSI was issued. The SEA was filed with all
state clearinghouses and provided to those individuals and
organizations who had expressed interest.

As far as local interests go....

April 1992 - The NWS Area Manager for Southern Calif. briefed
the Ventura County board of Supervisors on the installation of
the radar.

March 1993 - A letter from the Area Manager was sent to local
congressmen and politicians, including Congressmen Gallegly.

June 1993 - The County of Ventura exempted the Sulphur Mountain
project from its permitting requirements.

....and that's about all I know.

  /\/\  the ( -  o ) BADGER >>>\/>>


Msg #: [30/30]             Base: The Weather Room (Local) Date :
Fri 22 Apr 1994 11:06p     Stat: Public >From : Badger #106 To
: Bicycle Bob #146 Title: Latest on the WSR-88D / NEXRAD

Because of the concern of Ojai citizens (southern CA), on
Feb.16-17, 1994, the NWS retained a team of engineers from the
Illinois Institute of Technology Research Institute to measure
the strength of the WSR-88D signal to ensure that the emission
from the Sulphur Mountain site complied with the IEEE/ANSI and
NCRP safety standards. The NWS had originally planned for the
team to take these measurements at the homes of the concerned
residents. However, Sulphur Mountain residents unanimously
agreed they would neither participate in the testing nor allow
access to their property. The measurements were then taken on
public available property near the residents' homes. These tests
confirmed that the energy level transmitted by the WSR-88D is a
very small fraction of energy levels permitted by either

Subsequent testing was conducted in Ojai at KDAY, Jones Cable
Oxnard, Ventura Cable, and a private residence. The television
stations agreed with the findings of the engineering team that
neither the WSR-88D not the microwave line of site were causing
interference problems. Testing at the private residence appears
to indicate that the radar was not the source of an interference


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