The Denver-metro radar is getting an upgrade.
The National Weather Service radar station, operated by the Boulder office, has been in service for 25 years. With the upgrade, it will be able to watch over Colorado skies for another 20 years. The radar is designated KFTG WSR-88D.
Even though the radar looks over Denver, it is actually located in Watkins at the Colorado Air and Space Port. The metro radar helps meteorologists to warn of severe weather, snowstorms and shifting winds.
While this radar is down, other radars will help to cover this area; Denver International Airport (TDEN), Cheyenne, Wyoming (KCYS, Pueblo, Colorado (KPUX), Goodland, Kansas (KGLD), and North Platte, Nebraska (KLNX).
Today, cranes were brought in to remove the radome. The radome is the golf ball-looking cover used to protect the radar from storms.
Over the course of several weeks, technicians plan to refurbish and replace the pedestal of the radar. The pedestal is one of the most critical components of radar as it is used for antenna rotation and positions to capture data.
The pedestal refurbishment is the third major project of the NEXRAD Service Life Extension Program, a $135 million series of upgrades funded by NOAA, the United States Air Force, and the Federal Aviation Administration, that will keep NWS radars viable into the 2030s, the NWS says.
After this work is complete, the equipment shelters will be refurbished as part of the final project, known as the Service Life Extension Program, and is expected to be completed in 2023.
Below is a similar radar refurbishment from 2019.