This radar image from Fort Smith shows the current base reflectivity at a 0.5 degree upward tilt of the radar beam. Local radar can be useful, as can satellite imagery in the visible, in detecting smoke plumes from wildland fire. However, the radar beam has to intersect the smoke plume for the plume to be detected, meaning lower-level smoke plumes are more difficult to detect the further the distance from the radar site due to the upward tilt of the radar beam. During non-precipitation conditions, this map is updated approximately every 10 minutes, but during precipitation events the updates can be as frequent as every 2 to 3 minutes. To view a 24-frame past animation (4-hours under non-precipitation conditions) of this local radar map, click here.
These animated maps are provided by the College of DuPage, with the time of each image shown beneath the map in UTC time (CST = UTC - 6 hours; CDT = UTC - 5 hours).