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NWS announces radar outage during major upgrade

HASTINGS, Neb. – Beginning the week of Oct. 21, 2019, the KUEX/ Blue Hill WSR-88D operated by NOAA’s National Weather Service (NWS) in Hastings, NE will be down for approximately three weeks for an important upgrade. 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 radome to be removed by crane and replaced when the work is completed.

The radar and pedestal were designed to last 25 years, and this radar has exceeded its life-span. This activity is necessary to keep the radar functioning for another 20 years or more.

For a brief overview of the radar system and work to be done, watch this short two-minute video: HYPERLINK "https://youtu.be/H8lYTP342gc" https://youtu.be/H8lYTP342gc

The pedestal refurbishment is the third major project of the NEXRAD Service Life Extension Program, a series of upgrades that will keep our nation’s radars viable into the 2030s. NOAA’s NWS, 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 refurbishment of the transmitter. The fourth project will be the refurbishment of the equipment shelters. The Service Life Extension Program will be complete in 2023.

During the downtime, adjacent radars will be available, including in Nebraska, North Platte (LBF) and Omaha/Valley (OAX) and in Kansas, Goodland (GLD), Dodge City (DDC), Wichita (ICT) and Topeka (TWX). For direct access to any of these surrounding radar sites, visit the following web page: HYPERLINK "https://radar.weather.gov/" \h https://radar.weather.gov/

The KUEX/Blue Hill 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.

Beloit Call

P.O. Box 309, Concordia, Ks. 66901

Phone: 785-738-3537