National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Special Report on the Hytop WSR-88D Radar

The following pictorial report documents the initial phase in the installation of the newest Doppler radar in Alabama, the WSR-88D at Hytop in Jackson County. This new radar will cover portions of Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee including the cities of Chattanooga and Huntsville. A map is available showing the approximate range rings for the 124 nautical mile coverage area. The radar will be operated by the National Weather Service Forecast Office located in Alabaster with additional usage by the NWS offices at Nashville, Tennessee, Morristown, Tennessee, and Peachtree City, Georgia.

All of the images shown below were taken by Chris Smith, Public Affairs Officer for the National Weather Service, Southern Region Headquarters, Fort Worth, TX, during the dome raising and dedication on Friday, April 25, 1997.

A brief description appears with each thumbnail image. To view a larger image, simply click on the thumbnail itself.

1.  Top tower section being raised 1. The top section of the 30-meter tower on which the radar dish will sit is raised into place. The two buildings at the base of the tower house the computer equipment that controls the dish and the emergency generator.

2. The top section of the radar tower is placed on top of the tower. Four men can be seen at each corner guiding the top section into its proper place as the crane slowly lowers it. The lower tower sections were built from the ground up one piece at a time. The top section was built on the ground and used to build the outer radar dome. The dome was lifted from this section and placed on the ground while the top section was raised into place. 2.  Top tower section goes into place

3.  Additional equipment goes up before the dome 3. Once the top section was in place, additional equipment was raised onto the platform to be used in assembling the radar dish. In this photograph, the pedestal which turns the radar dish has been raised into place and attached to the top section. A scaffolding has been lifted by the crane that will be used to assist in assembling the radar dish. The radar dish itself was raised into place in boxes to be assembled after the radar dome was put up.

4. The dome, located just to the left of the tower, is about to be raised. The crowd of about 200 people is watching as the crane's lifting harness has been placed around the dome in preparation for the lift. 4.  The dome about to be lifted

5.  The dome goes UP! 5. The dome being lifted by the crane to be placed on top of the tower. Very exciting!!!

6. The dome being held by the crane and guided into place by the men on top of the tower!! There's lots of work still to be done but the Hytop radar is closer to a reality. 6.  The dome goes into place!

7.  The dome in place! 7. The radar dome is now in place. Dr. Lou Boezi, Deputy Director of the National Weather Service, is pictured in the foreground with the radar tower and dome in the background.

8. The dedication ceremony included a number of dignitaries who spoke about the events of the day. Pictured are Congressman Bud Cramer from Alabama and Congressman Zack Wamp from Tennessee. 8.  Congressman Cramer (left) and Congressman Wamp (right) speak about the event