Public Notice: National Weather Service announces radar outage during major upgrade

 Contacts: 

Steven Pfaff, Warning Coordination Meteorologist 

[email protected], 910-619-0803 

Reid Hawkins, Science and Operations Officer 

[email protected], 910-512-6588 

December 20, 2022 

Beginning January 3, 2023 the KLTX WSR-88D operated by NOAA’s National Weather Service in Wilmington, NC will be down for approximately two 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. 

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 National Weather Service, the United States Air Force, and the Federal Aviation Administration are investing $135 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. If you are interested in what the process looks like then please take a few minutes to watch NWS Bismark’s video of their pedestal replacement here.

During the downtime, adjacent radars will be available, including: KCAE – Columbia SC, KRAX – Raleigh, NC, KMHX – Morehead City, NC, and KCLX – Charleston, SC. For direct access to any of these surrounding radar sites, visit the following web page: https://radar.weather.gov/ 

The KLTX 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. 

The National Weather Service in Wilmington, NC can be found on social media at: https://www.facebook.com/NWSWilmingtonNC/ &  https://twitter.com/NWSWilmingtonNC 

Number of pedestals completed to date are 121 of 167