ALAMOSA — Colorado Representatives including Rep. Lauren Boebert, Senator Cleve Simpson, Alamosa County Chairman of the Board Michael Yohn, Conejos Water Conservancy District General Manager Nathan Coombs, San Luis Valley Water Conservancy District Manager Heather Dutton, and other state and local leaders teamed up to ensure the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration assimilated the San Luis Valley Radar system’s data as quickly as possible.
Community organizations and local governments in Colorado partnered to raise $1.8 million to build the San Luis Valley Radar system in order to improve weather data for the entire region. The radar was fully operational for over a year, but delays at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration prevented the radar’s data from being integrated into the National Weather Service’s forecasting system.
The National Weather Service responded to Rep. Boebert’s inquiry and fully integrated the radar data, and it reports that the data generated by the San Luis Valley Radar is now being “used by NWS meteorologists to better inform our forecasts and warnings for…the benefit of individuals and local economies across southern Colorado.”
Rep. Lauren Boebert stated: “Ensuring the San Luis Valley’s Radar data is fully integrated into National Weather Service systems will improve weather forecasting and warnings across southern Colorado for the benefit of farmers, ranchers, tourists, first responders, water district managers, and the general population. I am grateful to community leaders for bringing this issue to my attention and am thrilled that the system is finally up and running.”
Colorado State Senator Cleve Simpson said: “The Rio Grande Water Conservation District greatly appreciates Congresswoman Boebert’s assistance bringing stakeholders together to assure incorporation of the valuable data generated by our new Doppler radar unit. The information assists all residents of the San Luis Valley and the state of Colorado in a variety of different ways, streamflow forecasting as the centerpiece of that information for our water users. Thank you again to Congresswoman Boebert.”
San Luis Valley Water Conservancy District Manager Heather Dutton stated: “A diverse coalition of partners came together to build the San Luis Valley Weather Radar because we recognized the broad benefits to the San Luis Valley and neighboring communities. Integrating the data from the radar into regional weather forecasts, allows us to have improved travel management, emergency response, and water supply forecasting. I am grateful for Congresswoman Boebert’s work as a liaison between the stakeholders that built the radar and the federal agencies that utilize the data. This is a tremendous benefit for Southern Colorado!”
Conejos Water Conservancy District General Manager Nathan Coombs said: “The Conejos Water Conservancy District is grateful for Rep. Boebert’s attention and follow-up on our rural area’s Radar needs. We will all benefit from these efforts.”
Alamosa County Chairman of the Board Michael Yohn stated: “Finally, we can get the full benefit of the radar across our region for our water community, our locals, and the visitors coming to the San Luis Valley. Now the media can accurately give a forecast that has meaning.”