NOAA National Weather Service radar to undergo upgrades this week

NOAA National Weather Service radar to undergo upgrades this week

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s doppler radar will be getting a technological upgrade this week.

Starting Tuesday, the doppler radar located in Shallotte will go down for five days and undergo refurbishment of the transmitter, cables and breakers.

Reid Hawkins with the National Weather Service office in Wilmington says the health of the radar is excellent, and this upgrade will help meteorologists ahead of inclement weather for the next two decades.

“The transmitter, cables, and breakers are 20 years old,” said Hawkins. “The availability of spare parts for these are hard to come by so modern replacements will help keep the system reliable through 2030.”

The update is the second phase in a series of upgrades designed to extend the life of the radar in Brunswick County and others like it nationwide.

Last year, a new signal processor was installed at the transmitter site. The next phase will replace the major components of the radar’s pedestal.

“The last part of the project is to refurbish the equipment shelter,” Hawkins said. “The project will include a new roof, new doors, reseal the aggregate walls, recaulk seams, and repaint metal.”

The scheduled has not been set Hawkins said replacements nationwide will be done by 2022.

More than 150 million dollars from the National Weather Service, the United States Air Force and the Federal Aviation Administration have been set aside for these upgrades.

During the outage, doppler radars in Raleigh, Morehead City, and Columbia and Charleston, South Carolina as well as a composite radar will be available for public use to track precipitation.

Radar sweeps from Raleigh, Moorehead City and Columbia, South Carolina will be active while the Wilmington Radar undergoes an upgrade. (Source: WECT)
Radar sweeps from Raleigh, Moorehead City and Columbia, South Carolina will be active while the Wilmington Radar undergoes an upgrade. (Source: WECT)

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