National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

The Doppler radar operated by NOAA’s National Weather Service in La Crosse, WI will be down for approximately two weeks for an important upgrade. The radar should return to service by August 28. 

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 radar dome (or radome) to be removed by crane and replaced when the work is completed. 

The La Crosse radar site originally went online in 1996 with a designed lifespan of 25 years. 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 (SLEP), 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. SLEP is expected to be completed in 2023.

YouTube video about the pedestal refurbishment:

During the downtime, adjacent radars will be available, including:

For direct access to any of these surrounding radar sites, visit our national radar web page:  The radar cannot be brought back online during any potential severe weather during this time period.

The La Crosse Doppler radar is part of a network of 159 operational radars known as WSR-88Ds. The Radar Operations Center in Norman, Oklahoma provides lifecycle management and support for all NWS radars.