Local weather radar out for maintenance next week

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By: Charles Roop | WCTV Pinpoint Weather
July 12, 2018

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) — One of the local weather radars will be out of service next week. The National Weather Service says their radar at Tallahassee International Airport will be undergoing maintenance.

The work, according to the NWS, is phase two of a nationwide upgrade to the current Next Generation Radar (NEXRAD) system. Phase two work will consist of making sure all transmission equipment, cables and fuses are updated.

The radar system - WSR-88D - is 30 years old, but the Tallahassee radar is 20 years old, according to the NWS’ press release. The NWS, U.S. Air Force, and the Federal Aviation Administration have invested $150 million for the seven year upgrade program.

“The goal is obviously to make sure that the equipment we have stays running and fully functional through the 2030s,” said Kelly Godsey, the Senior Service Hydrologist at the NWS in Tallahassee. “As more technology comes out, those improvements will get passed on into the field.”

The radar will go offline Monday, and is expected to be back up by the end of the work week.

In the meantime, there are a few radars that are operated by the Department of Defense that can be used to track rain and thunderstorms. For instance, the radars at Eglin and Moody Air Force Base can be used. Forecasters can also use data from the fairly-new GOES-16 satellite - including lightning mapper, according to Godsey.

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