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Weather radar down in parts of five states

SALT LAKE CITY, (ABC 4 Utah) – A look at the radar Friday shows massive storms on the front range of Colorado, but all clear here in Utah.
SALT LAKE CITY, (ABC 4 Utah) – A look at the radar Friday shows massive storms on the Front Range of Colorado, but all clear here in Utah. A look outside and we know that's certainly not the case.

"We can see when the radar went down here. If you look into Western Colorado, look at all this rain and then it disappears right there. That's when the radar went down," says ABC 4 Utah Meteorologist, Curtis Ray.

That happened around 8 o’clock Thursday night. Radars in Northern Utah, Western Colorado, Southern Idaho, New Mexico and Nevada are still working, but the data is being lost in translation.

"The vendor for that is Verizon, so that's where the problem is," says Larry Dunn, with the National Weather Service.

The outage is leaving local meteorologists without one of their most important forecasting tools.

"It's almost like walking around in the dark, you can't see. Radar is pretty much our sight in picking up showers and thunderstorms," says Ray.

That means it's time to dust off some old tricks.

"We can't see the rain, the intensity of the rain, but we can see the lightning strikes and can tell there is something going on. I could also confirm that by looking at it from satellites up in space," says Ray.

When it rains, it pours. The National Weather Service in Salt Lake City is doing double duty. That's because the center in Grand Junction, Colorado has been completely knocked off line.

"All parts of the Weather Service are designed to back up other parts, so whenever we have an outage we have procedures to fall back, so we're doing that today as well," says Dunn.

With the forecast up in the air, meteorologists are warning some to play it safe the old fashioned way.

"Anyone who lives below one of these burn scars, they're already aware that if it starts raining heavily, they need to be alert and they definitely don't want to have children or pets or anybody down in the basements," says Dunn.

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