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Variety of Hazards in the West; Tropical Cyclone Karen

A variety of hazards are expected in the West... Heavy rain, strong storms and flooding is expected to persist in Arizona and spread into southern New Mexico and west Texas, while a combination of red flag warnings and heat advisories are likely in portions of California. Meanwhile, Karen is expected to usher heavy rainfall, flash floods and mudslides to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Read More >

UPDATE - August 29, 2019 (11:00am)

Great news! As of 11:00am August 29, 2019, the radar has passed all quality testing and is back up and running! The pedestal replacement was successful and no further disruptions to service related to this upgrade are planned.

UPDATE - August 29, 2019 (9:00am)

Technicians were able to get the radar operating last night through this morning for the thunderstorms that moved through, but the radar is back down again this morning for continued checks. The radar may be up and down today as testing continues to ensure the hardware is in working order. We are optimistic the radar will be back to full operations soon - stay tuned.

UPDATE - August 24, 2019

A major milestone in the pedestal replacement work was reached yesterday when the radome was removed in order to replace the pedestal component. Technicians will now spend the next several days putting everything back together, including reassembling the radar dish and connecting various components that were disconnected to replace the pedestal component. Work remains on schedule to have the radar back up and operational by August 31.

Facebook Live - Radome Removal:

Timelapse video of radome replacement:

 

Media Coverage

UPDATE - August 19, 2019

The hardware upgrade process for the KDLH WSR-88D radar has begun on schedule. Radar data is no longer available from the KDLH WSR-88D radar, but data remains available from neighboring WSR-88D radars at Grand Forks, ND (KMVX), Twin Cities/Chanhassen, MN (KMPX), La Crosse, WI (KARX), Green Bay, WI (KGRB), and Marquette, MI (KMQT) as well as Canadian radars at Superior-West (Lasseter Lake/Thunder Bay, XNI) and Dryden (XDR). For direct access to any of these surrounding WSR-88D radar sites, please visit the following web page: https://radar.weather.gov/  For direct access to Canadian radar sites, please visit: https://weather.gc.ca/radar/index_e.html -OR- Radar imagery can also be found on any number of commercial websites and mobile/tablet apps.

Original Press Release - August 7, 2019

Beginning on or around August 19, 2019, the KDLH WSR-88D operated by the National Weather Service in Duluth, Minnesota will be down for approximately 10 to 12 days for an important hardware upgrade. KDLH is expected to return to full operational service sometime around August 31, 2019.  Technicians will refurbish and replace the radar pedestal, which is one of the most critical components of the radar necessary for antenna rotation and elevation positioning to capture accurate weather data in all directions from the radar site. The components are extremely heavy and will require removal of the protective radome by crane, replacement of the radar pedestal assembly, and finally, reinstalling the dome when the work is completed.

The KDLH radar and pedestal were designed to last 25 years when installed in the mid-1990s, and as of 2019 the KDLH radar pedestal has exceeded its original life expectancy. The pedestal replacement is necessary to keep the KDLH radar functioning well into the 2030s.

The pedestal refurbishment is the third major phase of the WSR-88D Service Life Extension Program (SLEP), a series of upgrades that will keep all of our nation’s weather radars viable into the 2030s. The National Weather Service, the United States Air Force, and the Federal Aviation Administration are investing $150 million in the 8-year program. The first phase of the SLEP was the installation of the new signal processor, and the second phase was the refurbishment of the transmitter unit - both of these upgrades have already been successfully completed on the Duluth, Minnesota radar. The fourth phase will be the refurbishment of the equipment shelters, and this should be completed by 2023.

During the radar downtime, data from adjacent WSR-88D radars will be available, including: Grand Forks, ND (KMVX), Twin Cities/Chanhassen, MN (KMPX), La Crosse, WI (KARX), Green Bay, WI (KGRB), and Marquette, MI (KMQT).  For direct access to any of these surrounding radar sites, please visit the following web page: https://radar.weather.gov/  -or- any number of websites and mobile/tablet apps where WSR-88D weather radar data is freely available in real time.

The KDLH WSR-88D is part of a network of 159 operational weather radars. The Radar Operations Center in Norman, Oklahoma provides lifecycle management and support this entire network of WSR-88Ds.

The National Weather Service in Duluth, Minnesota can also be found on the internet at: weather.gov/duluth; And on social media at: facebook.com/NWSDuluth, and twitter.com/NWSDuluth

For questions, comments, or concerns, please contact any of the following:

Dan Miller, Acting Meteorologist-In-Charge
dan.j.miller@noaa.gov, (218) 729-0651 ext. 766

Joe Moore, Lead Meteorologist
joseph.moore@noaa.gov, (218) 729-0651

Dean Melde, Lead Meteorologist and Radar Program Focal Point
dean.melde@noaa.gov, (218) 729-0651