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Updating the tech: Crews replacing part of Quad Cities NWS Doppler radar Thursday

The big golf ball in the sky at the Davenport Municipal Airport, officially known as the KDVN WSR-88D radar, was lifted off the pedestal for upgrades.

DAVENPORT, Iowa — The KDVN WSR-88D radar, located at the National Weather Service office in Davenport, is constantly spinning and scanning the skies to track snow, rain and thunderstorms. 

NWS crews on Thursday morning, April 21 tackled the task of removing the golf-ball-looking dome from its pedestal, a piece of equipment that turns and positions the radar to capture data in all directions, to keep the Doppler functioning for the next two decades or more.

Removing the dome marks phase three of five life-extending updates to the giant white orb. As necessary upgrades began, the radar was taken offline Monday, April 18, and the outage is expected to continue through Friday, April 29, according to the NWS.

Credit: WQAD
NOAA's Service Life Extension Program for Doppler radar sites across the United States will extend the life of the technology into the 2030s.

With Thursday's weather being beautiful, the radar isn't really needed. In the meantime, surrounding radars in Des Moines, La Crosse, Milwaukee, Chicago, St. Louis and Pleasant Hill will provide some coverage for our region.

You can watch the timelapse of the process on News 8's YouTube channel below: 


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