20-year-old radar offline due to a major overhaul

NEAR NEW UNDERWOOD, S.D. (KOTA TV) - The National Weather Service's Doppler radar north of New Underwood is currently offline due to a major overhaul.

Known as the Service Life Extension Program, this project will keep the radar running as smooth as possible for another 20 years. When the overhaul is finished Sept.15, 2017, the radar will still function the same, but will relay a more accurate picture of the weather in the region. Giving meteorologists a better edge on predicting severe weather before it hits.

"This was needed as an overhaul, it's not just routine maintenance…,” said Nathan Rambo, an electronics technician with the National Weather Service, “…this is a onetime deal that they're going to come out and replace all the wiring in our transmitter and then the next one will be up in the antenna bay for the pedestal.”

This Doppler radar is one of 159 across the nation that is getting overhauls to extend their lifespan into the 2030's. The NOAA National Weather Service, the United States Air Force and Federal Aviation Administration are investing $150 million to this seven year program.