Weather Service Radar Is Down, So Who's Looking Up?

Aug 3, 2017

The National Weather Service's Wilmington radar is off-line, and will be for much of the month.

Meteorologist Kristen Cassady says it was shut down Monday for a scheduled software upgrade. That's when it was discovered that hardware was wearing out.

"The repair that is ongoing right now actually has to do with the movement of the dish within the radar dome. There's a big dish essentially inside that dome that's constantly rotating and the component that's being replaced helps that rotation go smoothly," she says.

The upgrade on Monday was part of a five-year plan to improve the service life of the radar "including a new signal processor, which was replacing obsolete technology and improving the processing speed and data quality."

In the meantime, Cassady says the Wilmington office is relying on FAA radar systems in Northern Kentucky, Columbus and Dayton.

"We rely on surrounding National Weather Service radars as well. Just a couple of examples: there's a radar in Indianapolis, radar in Louisville, radar in Jackson, Kentucky, just to name a few that could be of value to us."

Forecasters believe a few strong storms could develop Thursday afternoon and again Friday across central and south central Ohio.

Cassady says the Wilmington radar should be operating again by the middle of August.