National Weather Service Pueblo upgrades radar causing an outage

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PUEBLO, Colo. – You may notice a difference when you look up local weather on your phones or online as The National Weather Service announced that its Pueblo radar will be down for two weeks while they upgrade it.

Beginning Monday, Sept. 13, the KPUX or NWS Pubelo’s radar will be down for nearly two weeks as they do an important upgrade.

“We’re replacing what’s called a pedestal, and the pedestal is actually what helps to rotate the angle of the dish or antenna inside from more of a horizontal to a more vertical position as well as spinning of the entire dish too as it scans the atmosphere,” Greg Heavener, NWS Pueblo warning coordination meteorologist said.

Heavener said the radar helps meteorologists look at what weather is coming to the area so they can issue warnings and alerts before severe weather hits.

“We’re actually able to interrogate storm structure in a lot more finer and higher detail than we could have a couple of years ago and actually it will help to show us areas of where hail might be occurring within a storm too and even how big the hail might be,” Heavener said.

The radar and pedestal were designed to last 25 years and with the last upgrade in the late 1980s, the time to upgrade is now while the weather is quiet.

“We have backups and we could use satellites but that system is really the first line of defense when issuing those warnings so it’s a crucial integral part to what we do when it comes to our daily forecast operations,” Heavener said.

The pedestal refurbishment is the third major project of the NEXRAD Service Life Extension Program, a series of upgrades to our nation’s radars to keep them lasting into the 2030s.

While the system is down, local meteorologists will be pulling data from surrounding radars located in areas such as Denver (KFTG), Grand Junction (KGTX), Dodge City (KDDC), KABX (Albequerque), and Goodland (KGLD).

“We are very, very used to using our backups for better coverage out east as well with Goodland and Dodge City and those radars. So you won’t see any degradation in our service whatsoever with this radar being out for the next two weeks,” Heavener said.

For more information on NWS Pueblo’s radar or weather information go to their website.

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