National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

NWS New Orleans/Baton Rouge Radar Life Extension

Program (SLEP) 2022-2023 Upgrade and Downtime


Project Overview


Scheduled Work:  Beginning January 3, 2023, the KLIX WSR-88D located in Slidell, Louisiana will be down for approximately 2 weeks for the replacement of the radar pedestal. The radar pedestal is one of the most critical components of the radar, which is necessary for antenna rotation and position 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. This will help keep the radar operating smoothly for another 20 years.


Past Work:  On December 8th, 2022, the KLIX WSR-88D radar operated by the NOAA National Weather Service New Orleans/Baton Rouge office located in Slidell, Louisiana underwent replacement of the generator, fuel tanks, and accompanying components. The radar outage was scheduled to last 8 days, but it was returned to service two days earlier on December 14th so meteorologists could use the radar during the severe weather event that caused several tornadoes in Southeastern Louisiana and Coastal Mississippi that day! This radar upgrade was important to support the radar’s operation during periods of commercial power outages, specifically when hazardous weather is present.


Project Time Frame Graphic (Updated 12/28/22):





What is SLEP?


  • SLEP stands for Service Life Extension Program, a series of upgrades and replacements that will keep our nation’s radars viable into the 2030’s. NOAA 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 transmitter refurbishment. The two remaining projects are the refurbishment of the pedestal and equipment shelters. 


When will the radar be down?


  • This upgrade for our local radar is planned for two phases, one week from December 8-15, 2022 [already completed], and another January 3-16, 2023. 


What surrounding radars can I use?


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

Satellite data can also be accessed here




What happens if active weather occurs during this down time?


  • Radars are critically important in remote sensing severe storms, flood, snow and other weather forecasting for critical watches and warnings. Forecasters at the NWS New Orleans/Baton Rouge office are trained to use alternative sources and will use surrounding radars, GOES-16 satellite products, observation data, and even terminal doppler radar imagery from TMSY at New Orleans International Airport to continue to provide accurate warnings, when needed.

What is the latest with the planned radar move to Hammond?


  • KLIX radar move to Hammond has been delayed until at least Fall 2023. The KLIX SLEP refurbishment project, originally planned to be performed during this move, is a high priority upgrade and must move forward regardless of the move being postponed.


WSR-88D Radar Network:


The 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, including the Service Life Extension Program (SLEP). Click on image below to learn more on how radar works.



For General Questions or Media interviews: 


Meteorologist In Charge (MIC)


Warning Coordination Meteorologist (WCM)


Ben Schott

Phone: (985) 718-3482

Lauren Nash

Phone: (985) 649-0429