Lake Charles' weather radar is back online after damage from Hurricane Laura

Lake Charles' weather radar is back online after damage from Hurricane Laura

January 22, 2021 — Today, the National Weather Service restored service to its weather radar serving southwest Louisiana and the northwest Gulf of Mexico. Category 4 winds from Hurricane Laura severely damaged the radar, rendering it inoperable on August 27, 2020.


“Weather radar images are streaming back in, feeding forecasts and warnings and bringing critical public safety infrastructure back to our Lake Charles community,” said Roger Erickson, warning coordination meteorologist at the Lake Charles Weather Forecast Office. “We are grateful to have the radar online before the peak of severe weather this spring.”


The radar was restored in just five months, nearly two months ahead of schedule, at a cost of $1.65 million.


Since September, contractors and technicians from the NEXRAD Radar Operations Center in Norman, Oklahoma, have been working to repair and replace damaged radar parts. All equipment inside the radome was replaced, including the antenna and base, as well as repairs to the tower, fencing and equipment shelters. These efforts included Work 65 feet above the ground with heavy equipment weighing over 8,000 pounds.


“Our team has worked diligently to manage the entire restoration process, from purchasing key components and contracting with specially trained crews, to deploying our expert technicians to complete the installation and verification of the system,” said Terrance Clark, Radar Operations. Center Manager . “We are pleased to have the radar back in service ahead of schedule, which is a testament to the hard work and expertise of our team and the contractors working on this project.”


Hurricane Laura was the strongest hurricane to hit the United States in 2020. It made landfall near Cameron, Louisiana, as a Category 4 storm with winds of up to 150 mph. Storm surge of more than 15 feet caused extensive damage along the coast. The storm killed 42 people and was the costliest weather disaster of 2020 with losses of more than $19 billion.


The Radar Operations Center is a tri-agency organization, funded and staffed by NOAA's National Weather Service, the United States Air Force, and the Federal Aviation Administration. The center provides lifecycle management and support for all 159 NEXRAD instruments across the country, U.S. territories, and select locations overseas.


The National Weather Service forecast office in Lake Charles is the primary source of weather data, forecasts and warnings for six southeast Texas counties and 16 parishes in southwestern, south-central and central Louisiana and adjacent coastal waters. Join us on Facebook, Twitterand YouTube.


Contact: Roger Erickson, Lake Charles Weather Forecast Office





The weather radar has been restored at the Lake Charles Weather Forecast Office. January 15, 2021. Source: NOAA

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