For many professional meteorologists and weather enthusiasts, tracking the daily pop up storms on mobile apps like Radarscope and Radar Omega will need a slight adjustment, starting today and for the next two weeks.
According to the National Weather Service in Peachtree City, radar site KFFC WSR-88D will be down through August 12 as the radar receives a pedestal refurbishment and 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,” says the National Weather Service.
“The components are extremely heavy and will require the radome to be removed by crane and replaced when the work is completed.”
The National Weather Service also notes that “the radar and pedestal were designed to last 25 years, and this radar has exceeded its lifespan. 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 $135 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.”
For storm tracking purposes, adjacent radar sites will still be available, including the Atlanta-Hartsfield Airport Terminal Doppler (TATL); KJGX at the Warner Robins Air Force Base; KHTX in Hytop, Alabama (served by the NWS in Huntsville, Alabama); KGSP in Greer, South Carolina, and KMXX at the Maxwell Air Force Base.
For additional information, contact the National Weather Service in Peachtree City.
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