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Chippewa Valley won’t have access to NWS weather radar for a few weeks

Chanhassen, Minnesota (WQOW) – You won’t have access to one key form of weather data for the next few weeks.

Some parts of the National Weather Service radar in eastern Minnesota were more than 20 years old. Work began Monday to replace them.

The upgrades will replace the radar pedestal unit, a part that allows the radar to spin. The radar dome will also be replaced.

NWS Twin Cities meteorologist Eric Ahasic said the NWS will still be able to issue warnings during the outage, and meteorologists will be able to use nearby radars and other tools to monitor the weather.

He said the upgrades are part of a nationwide service life extension project that will help keep NWS radars working into the 2030s. “It’s kind of like anything you’d have at home that needs repairing, right?” Ahasic said. “You can put off repairing it, but it’s gonna break eventually, and this radar, if we didn’t do this replacement, it would eventually wear out and stop spinning.”

Ahasic said scheduling these upgrades required collaboration with other NWS offices around the country. He said their goal is to schedule maintenance during times of the year when severe weather is less likely. Later in the fall would’ve been ideal, but this is what worked with the national schedule.

He said these upgrades are the third and most difficult of four major upgrades that need to be done to the radar. The final set of repairs is scheduled for November of this year.

Ahasic said the radar should be back up and running sometime between September 19 and September 30, weather permitting.

Jess Langlois

Jess Langlois is the weekend meteorologist and weekday multi-media journalist for News 18. She joined us in July of 2019.

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