Oregon Chapter
American Meteorological Society

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Blog / Chapter News

January 22th, 2011

Status of Proposed Weather Radar for the Washington Coast
(Updated January 20, 2011)

Status Summary:
The new NEXRAD radar to serve Washington State’s northwest coast is on track to be installed and operational by September 30, 2011.

On May 28, 2009 Senator Maria Cantwell announced that Congress had appropriated $2 Million to start a project for a new weather radar along the Washington coast. A project plan was developed to buy the radar components, prepare the land, and install the radar. The radar will be a high-power, highresolution, long-range Doppler radar, upgraded with Dual Polarization. Senator Cantwell announced on June 2, 2010 that the installation of the radar would occur a year earlier than originally planned—by September 2011. This earlier installation is possible because critical Air Force weather radar assets became available to the NWS, allowing for the construction of a standard WSR-88D radar, thus avoiding the lengthy federal procurement process required for a modified commercial radar.

Recent Activities (October -- December 2010):
- On October 1 the NWS assumed control of NEXRAD radar components from a USAF training base to begin preparations for installation.
- Work was initiated to acquire a land site for the radar.
- Firm orders were placed for long-lead time NEXRAD components (tower, radome, antenna, equipment shelters, etc.).
- In December, a NEXRAD Radar Operations Center team traveled to Grays Harbor County and Seattle to begin planning infrastructure upgrades for the radar site and Seattle Weather Forecast Office.
- Soil bore samples were taken in December allowing site design activities to begin

Planned Activities (January 2011 – September 2011)
- Complete lease agreement
- Prepare the land site for the radar
- Prepare site design
- Install the site infrastructure
- Install and test the radar
- Begin operations by September 30, 2011

information gathered from NWS: http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/wrh/washington_coast_doppler_radar/Status_of_Proposed_Weather_Radar_20Jan11.pdf

Additional Coastal Radar Project information: http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/wrh/washington_coast_doppler_radar/