NWS Birmingham Radar Offline for Upgrades

Dec 14, 2016

Doppler radar dome at the National Weather Service - Birmingham office in Calera, Ala.

The National Weather Service in Birmingham is getting some shiny new radar equipment.

After well over 20 years of continuous operation, the Doppler radar at the National Weather Service – Birmingham office in Calera, Alabama is getting a service life extension upgrade of most of its electronic and mechanical components. The radar will be offline until the upgrades are completed.

Kevin Laws is the Chief Scientist with the National Weather Service in Birmingham. He says the upgrades aren’t adding any dramatic new capabilities to the weather office, but they will see a boost in performance.

“You know, imagine yourself having a computer that’s 20 years old and you get a brand new one, how much faster it is. So some of the signal processing will be a little faster and, overall, more robust, as far as our capabilities our concerned, with data transfer.”

Laws says the upgraded radar is expected to be back online by Thursday afternoon or early Friday morning. Until then, radar coverage in Alabama is still being provided by sites in Hytop and Mobile and at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery.