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Mt. Ashland Doppler radar taken offline for two week upgrade project

The radar on top of Mt. Ashland will be down for about two weeks to complete an important upgrade.

Posted: Sep 14, 2020 9:33 PM

ASHLAND, Ore. -- On Monday, the National Weather Service office in Medford says the Doppler radar on Mt. Ashland was taken offline to begin an important upgrade. The approximately two week project will refurbish and replace the radar's critical pedestal. The components are extremely heavy and will require the radar's dome to be removed by crane and replaced when the work is done.

The radar and pedestal were designed to last 25 years, and this radar has exceeded its life-span. This is the third of a series of projects that will keep the radar functioning properly for another 20 years or more.

NOAA's National Weather Service, the U.S. Air Force and the FAA have invested $150 million into the eight-year program to complete these series of upgrades to that nation's radar network. The first project was the installation of the new signal processor, and the second project was the refurbishment of the transmitter. The upcoming fourth project will be the refurbishment of the equipment shelters. The series of projects will be all completed in 2023. 

The National Weather Service asks the public to avoid using the narrow road that goes up to the Mt. Ashland summit and the area around the radar while this project is taking place due to safety concerns. The crews working on the project will be using the narrow road for vehicles and to transport heavy equipment. 

During the project while the radar is down, adjacent radars in Eureka, Portland, Pendleton, Reno and Beale Air Force Base will be used to track precipitation in Southern Oregon and Northern California. The radar on Mt. Ashland is expected to be back online by approximaetly Monday, September 28th. 

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