National weather radar system upgrades are on track
By KEITH RIDLER
BOISE, Idaho (AP) - Officials say an eight-year plan for a major upgrade to the nation's weather radar stations to help predict dangerous storms and improve air traffic safety is on track at the midway point.
The National Weather Service, U.S. Air Force and Federal Aviation Administration are paying for the $150 million project to refurbish 159 stations that will wrap up in 2023.
National Weather Service Radar Operations Center Deputy Director Jessica Schultz says the improvements will keep the 25-year-old system viable into the 2030s.
The upgrades include installing new pedestals on which radar antennas rotate and more powerful computers to process information that could help provide earlier tornado and flash flood warnings.
The system also supplies information for smartphone weather apps so people know what kind of a day to expect.
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