The National Weather Service has made an upgrade that will ground their radar until Dec. 14.

According to National Weather Service in Dodge City meteorologist-in-charge Larry Ruthi, the WSR-88D Pedestal Service Life Extension Program upgrade for Dodge City is underway.

"The pedestal itself will be removed and replaced with a rebuilt pedestal with a new bull gear, drive gearboxes and other rebuilt parts," Ruthi said. "Once that was secured the dome was replaced."

The upgrade was due to the radar exceeding its lifespan which is 25 years.

By making the upgrade, the radar will be set to continue for another 20 years.

"The pedestal refurbishment is the third major project of the NEXRAD Service Life Extension Program, a series of upgrades that will keep our nation’s radars viable into the 2030s," Ruthi said. "NOAA’s National Weather Service, the United States Air Force, and the Federal Aviation Administration are investing $150 million in the eight-year program."

The installation of the new signal processor was the first part of the project with the refurbishment of the transmitter and refurbishment of the equipment shelters following.

The Service Life Extension Program is estimated to be completed by 2023.

"During the downtime, adjacent radars will be available, including KVNX, KICT, KAMA, KPUX, KGLD and KUEX," Ruthi said.

To get direct access to the radar sites, they can be accessed by visiting the following web page radar.weather.gov/.

The Radar Operations Center in Norman, Oklahoma, provides lifecycle management and support for all WSR-88Ds which is part of a network of 159 operational radars.

The National Weather Service in Dodge City, can be found on its social media pages at www.facebook.com/NWSDodgeCity and twitter.com/NWSDodgeCity.

Regarding the Dec. 14 completion date, Ruthi said, "It will take time to reassemble the antenna inside the dome, reattach all electrical and communications lines, reassemble other components attached to the pedestal and test to ensure that everything works.

"It is possible that the radar will be up before Dec. 14 if everything falls into place perfectly.

"The refurbished pedestal was placed on the tower Tuesday, and the dome is back in its original position."

To contact the writer email vmarshall@dodgeglobe.com