Beginning on or around Monday, Aug. 19, the KDLH WSR-88D, operated by the National Weather Service in Duluth, will be down for approximately 10-12 days for a hardware upgrade. KDLH is expected to return to full operational service around Aug. 31.
Technicians will refurbish and replace the radar pedestal, which is one of the most critical components of the radar necessary for antenna rotation and elevation positioning to capture accurate weather data in all directions from the radar site, according to a news release from NWS.
The components are extremely heavy and will require removal of the protective radome by crane, replacement of the radar pedestal assembly and reinstalling the dome when the work is completed.
The KDLH radar and pedestal were designed to last 25 years when installed in the mid-1990s. As of 2019, the KDLH radar pedestal has exceeded its original life expectancy. The pedestal replacement is necessary to keep the KDLH radar functioning well into the 2030s.
The NWS, U.S. Air Force and the Federal Aviation Administration are investing $150 million in an eight-year program to extend the life of the equipment.
During the radar downtime, data from adjacent WSR-88D radars will be available: Grand Forks, N.D. (KMVX); Twin Cities/Chanhassen (KMPX); La Crosse, Wis. (KARX); Green Bay, Wis. (KGRB); and Marquette, Mich. (KMQT). For direct access to any of these surrounding radar sites, visit radar.weather.gov or mobile apps where WSR-88D weather radar data is freely available in real time.
The KDLH WSR-88D is part of a network of 159 operational weather radars.