NWS Doppler radar in White Lake Twp. to shut down for upgrade

Mark Hicks
The Detroit News

Radar used by the National Weather Service station in White Lake Township is set to shut down for an upgrade this month, officials announced Wednesday.

Beginning Jan. 24, the station's KDTX WSR-88D Doppler weather radar will be down for about two weeks as technicians refurbish and replace its 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 weather service said in a statement.

The shutdown is part of a $135 million in the eight-year effort to upgrade the nation's radar systems, officials said.

" ...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."

As the work continues, other radars will be available, including one at Detroit Metro Airport in Romulus, and NWS sites in Grand Rapids, Gaylord and Indiana, according to the release.

The KDTX WSR-88D radar is in a network of 159 radars, NWS said.

The repair effort is the third significant project through the NEXRAD Service Life Extension Program, a series of upgrades slated to keep national radars viable into the 2030s, officials said Wednesday. 

NOAA’s National Weather Service, the United States Air Force and the Federal Aviation Administration are part of the eight-year upgrade effort, which is expected to end in 2023.