National Weather Service Announces Major Upgrade To Cannon Air Force Base Doppler (KFDX) Radar


National Weather Service Announces Major Upgrade To Cannon Air Force Base Doppler (KFDX) Radar

The Cannon Air Force Base WSR-88D Doppler Radar near Clovis will undergo a major hardware upgrade beginning Wednesday, Feb. 6.

The radar will be shut down for approximately three weeks while technicians replace the pedestal, as well as the stand that rotates and positions the antenna.

Once the antenna is disassembled, the protective radar dome and pedestal will be removed by a crane. A new pedestal will then be installed, the protective dome replaced, and the antenna reassembled.

Once the estimated three-week project commences, the radar cannot and will not be turned on until work is completed. “This work was scheduled in late winter to reduce the impact on our operations. We typically don’t have many severe thunderstorms in February. Our dedicated and highly skilled forecast staff will monitor winter storms using high resolution satellite and ground station data, whereas radar is the primary tool for detecting and monitoring thunderstorms,” explained NWS Albuquerque Meteorologist-in-Charge Kerry Jones.

During the work; data from the Pueblo, CO; Amarillo, TX; Lubbock, TX; Midland, TX; and Albuquerque, NM NWS radars will be available here. Satellite images are also available here.

The radar and pedestal were designed to last 25 years, so this work will keep the radar functioning for at least another 20 years. The Cannon Air Force Base Doppler radar near Clovis, NM was installed in 1994.

The pedestal replacement is the third major project of the NEXRAD Service Life Extension Program, a series of upgrades that will keep our nation’s radars viable into the 2030s. The first project was the installation of the new signal processor, and the second project was the refurbishment of the transmitter. The fourth project will be the refurbishment of the equipment shelters. The eight-year Service Life Extension Program will be complete in 2023.

The Cannon Air Force Base WSR-88D, near Clovis, NM, is part of a network of 159 operational radars. The Radar Operations Center in Norman, Oklahoma, provides lifecycle management and support for all WSR-88Ds.

Information on New Mexico for your local NOAA National Weather Service Offices:

NOAA understands and predicts changes in the Earth’s environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and conserves and manages our coastal and marine resources.