FRAGILE: New pedestal for West River radar station installed

Phase three is underway for the radar site out at New Underwood, and NWS Rapid City is excited about it

NEW UNDERWOOD, S.D. – The National Weather Service in Rapid City is getting a present just in time for Christmas – upgraded radar.

The New Underwood radar station is only one of two locations in the country receiving this particular upgrade. The other location is Dodge City, Kansas.

The W S R 88 D Doppler Radar in New Underwood began a major hardware upgrade Nov. 27. As many of us noticed during our recent snowfall, the radar has been unavailable during this upgrade.

The National Weather Service chose this time period specifically to avoid having the radar down during a severe weather event.

The whole effort has been part of a larger process that has involved many phases, from computer upgrades, to even going digital.

Dave Hintz, meteorologist in charge at the National Weather Service in Rapid City, talked about the upgrades.

“We cleaned up the signal. It makes it a whole lot cleaner and easier to see, and now the third phase is what you see going on behind us. We’re refurbishing the pedestal,” Hintz explained. “What the radar does is help us see storms. This is what provides us our severe thunderstorm warnings, our tornado warnings in the summer, it helps us see snow bands, ice bands in the winter.”

Much like changing the wheels of a car, the new pedestal will keep the radar moving smoothly and keep West River and the Black Hills safe. For more information on this upgrade, click HERE.

Categories: Local News, South Dakota News