National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce
  • UPDATE (9/11/19): The removal of our radar pedestal unit and radome by crane, previously scheduled for Thursday, September 12, has been postponed to Saturday, September 14. This postponement was deemed necessary due to the forecast of thunderstorms Thursday, as well as high winds Thursday-Friday as the crane can not operate in wind speeds greater than 18 mph. Work on the replacement of the pedestal is expected to begin at 7 AM, with the crane work completed that same day. Despite this postponement, we are still expecting to have the radar returned to service on Thursday, September 19.

 

  • The weather radar used by the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Chanhassen will be down beginning Monday, September 9, for technicians to perform an important upgrade. A return to service date is estimated for Thursday, September 19, but weather/equipment delays may push this date back as far as Monday, September 30.

 

  • Our office will still perform our standard level of severe weather operations during the outage and continue to issue severe weather warnings and advisories. Meteorologists will be able to utilize neighboring radars, multi-radar multi-sensor (MRMS) derived products, GOES high-resolution satellite data, as well as weather spotter reports.

 

  • This upgrade will refurbish and replace the radar pedestal unit.
    • The radar pedestal is necessary for antenna rotation and positioning to capture data in all directions.
    • The current pedestal being replaced is more than 20 years old, and this refurbishment is necessary to keep the radar functioning for another 20 years or more.
    • This will be an intensive project and will require the radome to be removed by crane and replaced when the work is completed.

 

  • This is one of four major upgrades, known as service life extension projects (SLEP), planned to replace and refurbish major components of the 20+ year old WSR-88Ds and to keep the radars operational into the 2030s.
    • ​NOAA’s National Weather Service, the United States Air Force, and the Federal Aviation Administration are investing $150 million in the eight year program to upgrade all radars nationwide.
    • The Service Life Extension Program will be completed on all radars nationwide in 2023.

 

  • Previous and Future SLEP upgrades at KMPX include:
    • Signal Processor Refurbishment (Completed October 2017)
    • Shelter Refurbishment (Completed June 2019)
    • Transmitter Refurbishment (Scheduled November 2019)

 

  • During the outage, radar coverage is available from adjacent radar sites including Duluth, MN; La Crosse, WI; Des Moines, IA; Sioux Falls, SD; Aberdeen, SD; Grand Forks, ND; and the Minneapolis Terminal Doppler Weather Radar (TMSP TDWR).