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Monday, August 10, 2020

National Weather Service Announces Radar Outage During Major Upgrade

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Derek Nesterhttp://sunflowerstateradiocom.wordpress.com
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids, and graduated from Valley Heights High School in May of 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. After stops at KFRM and KCLY radio in Clay Center, he joined KNDY in 2002 as a board operator and play by play announcer. Derek is now responsible for the digital content of Dierking Communications, Inc. six radio stations. In 2005 Derek joined the staff of KCFX radio in Kansas City as a production coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, which airs on over 94 radio stations across 12 Midwest states and growing. In 2018 he became the Studio Coordinator at the Cumulus Kansas City broadcast center for Kansas City Chiefs Football.

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 .

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