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Sunday, June 20, 2021

National Weather Service Announces Radar Outage During Major Upgrade

Beginning Monday January 7th, the KTWX WSR-88D operated by National Weather Service in Topeka, Kansas will be down for approximately three weeks for an important upgrade. Technicians will refurbish and replace the pedestal, one of the most critical components of the radar, which is necessary for antenna rotation and positioning to capture data in all directions. The components are extremely heavy and will require the radome to be removed by crane and replaced when the work is completed.

The KTWX radar serving northeast Kansas was commissioned back in January of 1995. The radar and pedestal were designed to last 25 years, so the radar pedestal is rapidly approaching its end-of-life. This activity is necessary to keep the radar functioning for another 20 years or more.

The pedestal refurbishment is the third major project of the NEXRAD Service Life Extension Program, a series of upgrades that will keep our nation’s radars viable into the 2030s. NOAA’s National Weather Service, the United States Air Force, and the Federal Aviation Administration are investing $150 million in the eight year program. The first project was the installation of the new signal processor and the second project was the refurbishment of the transmitter. The fourth project will be the refurbishment of the equipment shelters. The Service Life Extension Program will be complete in 2023.

During the downtime, adjacent radars will be available, including: Wichita, KS KICT, Hastings, NE KUEX, Pleasant Hill, MO KEAX, Omaha, NE KOAX and Springfield, MO KSGF. For direct access to any of these surrounding radar sites, visit the following web page: https://radar.weather.gov/

The KTWX WSR-88D is part of a network of 159 operational radars. The Radar Operations Center in Norman, Oklahoma, provides lifecycle management and support for all WSR-88Ds.

The National Weather Service in Topeka, Kansas can be found on social media at https://twitter.com/NWSTopeka and https://www.facebook.com/NWSTopeka .

Derek Nesterhttps://sunflowerstateradio.com
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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