Radar networks represent fundamental observational assets for providing indications of meteorological phenomena at very small scales and rapid temporal response.

They provide detailed very short-term monitoring and forecasting, at the spatial resolutions of kilometre and sub-kilometre to which numerical modelling is currently aiming The National Radar Network is used in particular in the national warning system for meteorological, hydrogeological and hydraulic risk (pursuant to Legislative Decree No. 1 of January 2, 2018). Here, the phase of instrumental monitoring of ongoing phenomena plays a crucial role in the management of intense and fast-moving events in vulnerable areas, and as support to agriculture, for example for the possibility of defining rainfall fields with great detail.

The national radar system consists of numerous C-band and X-band systems with different observational, technical, and processing capabilities. These systems are operated by regional agencies, ENAV, the Air Force, and the Department of Civil Protection, which realises and broadcasts the national radar composite.

C-band systems, installed since the 1990s, are almost all Doppler technology and allow estimation of the radial component of the wind. They are also equipped with simultaneous dual polarization, which makes it possible to distinguish, from the shape taken by the “return” echoes (such as the precipitating cloud), the type of hydrometeor present. Over the past decade, many of these systems have undergone full or partial system upgrade procedures.

To ensure uniform coverage even in less monitored areas and improve it in areas with high anthropogenic concentrations, the current network in the future could supplement systems operating in C-band with new X-band systems.