Weather radar broken, offline for weeks


#northcarolina #southcarolina #weather #ncwx #scwx

With KGSP offline until February, meteorologists are having to lean on surrounding radars, including Charlotte’s terminal doppler radar, to scan the skies. For you, your favorite radar app may or may not even use TCLT data. For example, users of the Radarscope app have to enable TCLT and other terminal radar sites inside the app’s Advanced Settings menu.

The radar in upstate South Carolina jumped the Service Life Extension Program (SLEP) line when it unexpectedly went offline on Dec. 31. The bull gear had been damaged and could no longer spin the radar atop the pedestal. Without the ability to spin, the radar cannot get a 360-degree view of the sky.

A photo from the National Weather Service shows metal shavings from the destroyed bull gear. After 27 years, the bull gear needed replacing, a project that also involves removing the pedestal.

So rather than wait until March, the radar in Greer is getting an expedited repair.

Starting the week of Jan. 23, and continuing through Feb. 3, the pedestal will be removed and replaced. While this work was originally scheduled for March as part of SLEP, technicians will complete that work ahead of schedule while also replacing the bull gear.

Until then, the surrounding network of weather radars will need to pinch-hit. It’s the same song-and-dance that will be repeated through June as repairs and upgrades later happen at the other sites.

Depending on timing, the conversation regarding radar outages could reoccur if and when severe weather impacts the region.



The Carolina Weather Group operates a weekly talk show of the same name. Broadcasting each week from the Carolinas, the show is dedicated to covering weather, science, technology, and more with newsmakers from the field of atmospheric science. With co-hosts across both North Carolina and South Carolina, the show may closely feature both NC weather and SC weather, but the topics are universally enjoyable for any weather fan. Join us as we talk about weather, environment, the atmosphere, space travel, and all the technology that makes it possible.


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