Central Illinois radar temporarily off for upgrades - WEEK.com: Peoria-area News, Weather, Sports

Central Illinois radar temporarily off for upgrades

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LINCOLN, ILL (HOI) -

This week the National Weather Service's central Illinois radar site is getting some upgrades so that it can remain operational until at least the year 2030.

If rain were to move through the first part of this week and you looked at our Storm Team ABC weather radar, it might not look as clear.

The National Weather Service radar site in Lincoln is temporarily down, while work is done to replace the radar's signal processor that is outdated.

"It is what's processing the radar energy coming back after it hits a target such as precipitation, birds, anything of that nature," said Chris Geelhart, a Meteorologist for the National Weather Service.

This national weather service's local doppler radar is undergoing it's first phase of the service life extension project -- the replacing of the radar's signal processor.

Geelhart says it should improve the quality of the data the radar provides to meteorologists and the public.

"The original processor has twelve different parts in it," Geelhart said,"the new one has only five so that's a lot less work for the electronics technicians when they need to repair the radar."

As part of the upgrades work is being done inside the dome of the radar itself and on the ground level inside the equipment buildings.

However, the work is only beginning. The radar's transmitter, the pedestal that holds the antenna, and some of the other equipment in the shelter below the radar are set to get upgrades in the near future.

Geelhart says the upgrades should ensure the radar remains operational for another fifteen or twenty years.

He tells HOI news now was the perfect time to start the upgrades since severe weather isn't on the radar right now.

The first round of upgrades is expected to be finished by Thursday.

While the site is down the National Weather Service is using surrounding radar sites that overlap the area so they can still track any stray showers and storms.

Storm Team ABC also has access to all of that data on our systems so we always have you covered on air or on the go.

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