Officials secure win for San Luis Valley: Weather radar system now online

U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-District 3)

SAN LUIS VALLEY — U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-District 3) and local leaders secured a win for the San Luis Valley by ensuring data from its new radar system is now incorporated into National Weather Service systems.

“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,” Boebert stated.

Community organizations and local governments in Colorado partnered to raise $1.8 million to build the San Luis Valley radar system 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.

Boebert partnered with Colorado State 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 to ensure the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration assimilated the radar’s data as quickly as possible.

"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," Simpson stated

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.”

"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," Dutton stated. "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."

Alamosa County Chairman of the Board Michael Yohn added, “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.”