I was living alone on Walnut Knob, MP 152, off the Blue Ridge Parkway, in 1997. On an afternoon walk to a high point above the cabin, I spotted a white object on the horizon far to the north. That afternoon, I brought back my binoculars to figure out what it was. It looked to the naked eye to be a perfectly round sphere, up above the treeline–like a golf ball sitting on a 50 foot tee.
It was the NexRAD tower that, although we didn’t know it then, marked the vicinity where we would someday (since 1999) live, in the northeast corner of Floyd County, and the only such tower in the entire western part of Virginia. We live a few miles east of it, and some 600 feet below the ridge on which it sits, just off Coles Knob and Stonewall Road.
Here’s the Wundergound page that offers data from that tower–including a 24 hour loop of radar, which will come in handy after an overnight snow storm, to see how it tracked when planning the day’s travels while it is still dark, windy and cold. I can hardly wait.
The other thing this giant golf ball brings us is fighter jets. Daily. Usually in twos and threes. And flying at treetop level. They sight on this tower as part of a regular mission over southwest Virginia, where the sparse population I suppose reduces complaints of the dishes rattling on the wall.