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NWS Kansas City Doppler Radar Unavailable Week of March 5-9

NWS Kansas City Doppler Radar Unavailable Week of March 5 Due to Upgrade. Data from the National Weather Service Doppler Radar in Kansas City/Pleasant Hill, Missouri will not be available from March 5 through March 9 due to scheduled system upgrades. A team of radar technicians from Norman, Oklahoma will install new equipment starting at 7 am CST Sunday March 5th. The radar is expected to be back in full service by 5 pm CST Thursday, March 9th.

Source: http://www.crh.noaa.gov/crnews/display_sto...d=1619&source=0
Mike
 
LOL, that is nice, and I was just thinking how I might be chasing near there on Tuesday. I guess TOP will work. I wonder if xm gets all their stuff through NWS radars?
 
Thanks.

I finally got to see the new ECMWF and it isn't so hot on Tuesday. The 18z GFS seems to think KC might need their NWS radar that day however(and the ETA to some extent). What do the NWS mets do when it is down and there are storms? Do they just use what they can see with surrounding sites, or do they have some sort of access to TV stations radar? Guess it would be hard picking up low level rotation with those surrounding radars.
 
During the radar outage, users can view doppler radar data from surrounding network radars located at Topeka, Omaha, Des Moines, St. Louis, and Springfield. Early March was chosen to implement this upgrade so the improvements will be in place for the upcoming severe weather season.
Mike
 
"Do they just use what they can see with surrounding sites"

Yes.

"do they have some sort of access to TV stations radar?"

Limited. Many TV stations have offered to give NWS offices complete access to a live feed, but NWS HQ says that it would be unfair.

"Guess it would be hard picking up low level rotation with those surrounding radars."

Correct...
 
They were just doing updates to the TWX radar early in the week, with ICT radar updating before that. I'm guessing they'll try to get it working by go time on Thursday.

The use of surrounding radars might be better now than it was a year or two ago. The edges of the coverage tend to be more spread out than what is actually there, and intensity you have to take with a grain of salt at times.

It was good that you brought that to everyone's attention on here.


I'm going off topic with this comment, but since we need to take these things into consideration for chases this season:

I was also wondering if we should start the road construction topic this week. I know of a possible key one in KS (US 77 closed from US 50 to US 56).
 
Well that's rather unfortunate.

This sort of reminds me of a few "holes" in radar coverage around the midwest. In my opinion, we could really use another radar site near Kirksville MO, and also somewhere near Valentine NE.

I hope everything goes as well as possible with the radar being down.
 
"The use of surrounding radars might be better now than it was a year or two ago. The edges of the coverage tend to be more spread out than what is actually there, and intensity you have to take with a grain of salt at times. "

I'm not sure what you are saying... There's nothing different with surrounding radars that makes them any different than last year.

Intensity values are "real" so you should take them with a bit more than a grain ;>
 
Originally posted by Joel Wright
In my opinion, we could really use another radar site near Kirksville MO

Amen to that only just a tad further south, perhaps Moberly, MO. I'm actually beginning to research the November 9/10, 1998 F3 that struck the southern end of Columbia where I was living at the time. It occurred at 2:00am and, to my knowledge, was never detected by EAX or LSX as the lowest scan over COU from either of those radars is only about 10,000 AGL. Here's a link with aerial photos.

http://www.gocolumbiamo.com/EM/Natural_Dis.../southridge.php

Thankfully no one lost their life that night. I know there are plenty of gaps in radar coverage across the country, but how many cities with populations of nearly 100,000 have as poor of coverage as Columbia does. They never should have removed the radar from here back in 1995.

/end of rant...
 
Yes, there are far too many areas with poor coverage. There needs to be one near Moberly, one near Paris, TX, south central South Dakota, GUP, etc. These could easily be 5cm "C" band radars which are about 1/5th as expensive as 10cm radars.
 
I'm alluding to the change on the graphics for the NWS radar. I don't know if the change in appearance (adding the physical topologies on the map) did anything to the appearance of echoes as well. I'm betting not, I'm just leaving that open since I don't know.

I know I'm not explaining it well, so I'll give some sort of example.

I have often used the Topeka NWS radar (when I'm in Manhattan) to look at stuff in their radar area, but it looks like something just north of Wichita (which is on the southern edge of the Topeka radar's range) is giving off stronger (or weaker) echos on the Topeka NWS radar image than on the Wichita NWS radar image. Sometimes, that gives a false sense that a storm might be intensifying or weakening when it really isn't. That's what I'm talking about. Sometimes, it also appears to 'spread' the echos on the edge of the radar's range since it isn't as well-defined as an echo from a radar closer to the storm.

Usually, going to an adjacent NWS radar isn't a big deal, unless it is down. That's why I brought it up.
 
"I'm alluding to the change on the graphics for the NWS radar."

Gotcha. Operational meteorologists don't use the NWS website for radar, so the change had no impact.

"Sometimes, that gives a false sense that a storm might be intensifying or weakening when it really isn't."

You're looking at very different levels of the thunderstorm, so if things are calibrated correctly the higher tilts from the close radar should match the low tilts from the far.

"Sometimes, it also appears to 'spread' the echos"

Right. 1 degree is the width of the radar echoes, so as 1 degree becomes "longer" farther away from the centerpoint it takes up more space.

- Rob
 
FYI, looks like they completed the upgrade early as the radar appears to be operational again. I'm sure they were working their butts off given the severe potential tonight and tomorrow.
 
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