Baron and MESO-SAILS


Benefits for Meteorologists and Viewers

  • More timely and precise severe weather detection, both on-air and with the Baron mobile app.
  • You can potentially detect severe storms and tornadic rotations that, previously with the older technology, may have been undetected during a full volume scan.
  • Baron Storm Tracks will be more accurately placed relative to radar imagery, with improved times of arrival in the communities list.
  • Baron is the only weather vendor providing enhanced data updates from SAILS and MESO-SAILS. This commitment to the broadcaster provides you with a powerful and effective differentiator during severe weather.


A Bit of Background

The development to support and enhance MESO-SAILS data builds on the rich history of Baron’s pioneering work in severe weather detection.

Until the past three years, NEXRAD radars needed to complete a full volume scan—up to 14 elevations (also called “tilts”) of scanning—before returning to the lowest level. Lower elevations are of the greatest interest to meteorologists, since they provide relevant weather information nearest to the ground. Shown to the left is the most conventional form of volume scan.

Beginning in spring 2014, the National Weather Service implemented a new technique called SAILS (Supplemental Adaptive Intra-Volume Low-Level Scan), which allowed an additional lowest-level scan to be performed in the midst of a volume scan. Now, new techniques called MESO-SAILS go even further, allowing the lowest elevation to be sampled three or even four times during a volume scan.




Earlier and More Accurate Weather Intelligence

We have provided the additional SAILS radar imagery for quite some time. But ours is a new approach to creating enhanced data products from NEXRAD data. So not only do Baron customers receive these additional scans, they also receive invaluable data products for more timely and accurate detection of flooding, hail, strong winds and potential tornadoes.

The graphics above tell more of the story. With conventional data processing like those used by other weather vendors, a package of data products is delivered at the end of each volume scan. By supporting all MESO-SAILS modes, Baron delivers anywhere from 2 to 4 data updates with each scan.

Update times, as shown above, will vary based on the scanning mode being used at that time by the NWS. In the fastest mode, Baron provides data product updates as fast as within 72 seconds.


A Critical Time Advantage

In practical terms, how could the additional information be used?

Let’s say that a fast-moving tornado is approaching your viewing area. A twister moving at 60 mph would cover a mile on the ground every minute. With older processing like that used by other vendors, you would only receive an updated location of the tornado every 5 minutes. The tornado would have moved 5 miles during that time.

However, by using MESO-SAILS, Baron would provide an update on the tornado’s location every 90 seconds on average, and sometimes less.

The clip below demonstrates the additional reflectivity scans provided by the MESO-SAILS technique.