By Brian New

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MESQUITE (CBSDFW.COM) – Nearly three months after December’s deadly North Texas tornado outbreak, city officials said a new radar in east Dallas County could potentially warn residents of a tornado two to three minutes sooner.

“As we saw December 26 with the tornado, that the two or three minute time frame can be the difference in life or death,” said Mesquite Mayor Stan Pickett.

The cities of Mesquite and Garland helped bring the Collaborative Adapting Sensing of the Atmosphere (CASA) radar to the Mesquite Airport.

It’s the seventh CASA radar added to the region’s network but the first in east Dallas County.

Mark Fox with the National Weather Service said the new radar will provide faster and more detailed radar imaging of the area.

“Looking at the CASA radar is like looking at a microscope to see those fine details that you would like to see,” he said. “Those fine details in a storm are going to be your damaging in winds and tornadoes.”

“We know these things can happen again,” said Mayor Pickett. “But, hopefully this will give us a few more minutes of the realization of what’s about to come and that will literally save lives.”

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