Maintenance On Gaylord Radar May Lead to Issues Tracking Snow

You rely on the Doppler 9&10 Radar network every day to make plans as you head to work or to your grandson’s birthday party.

But, have you ever thought about what life would be like if we did not have access to radar data?

Radar has not always been easily accessible. The WSR-88D’s were built have not been replaced for 25 years.

Everyday appliances like the washer & dryer or the fridge need maintenance, so does the radar dome.

As technology evolves, we need to upgrade with it to get the best weather data. The radar will go under maintenance in early January because it is old, and it is recommended by the Service Life Extension Program (SLEP).

The radar dish itself is not being repaired, but the pedestal on which it stands, says Jim Keysor, the Meteorologist in Charge at the National Weather Service in Gaylord.

“The pedestal is what the satellite dish sits on top of it all gets taken apart, a big crane comes in and in one day, when they get all of that ready, one day they lift the old one off and they put the new one,” said Keysor.

With radar being down, it impacts everyone in Northern Michigan, especially those close to the Gaylord area.

Here is what the radar looks like when the Gaylord radar is functioning from December 19 at 3 p.m.


When the Gaylord radar is down, you can see missing data. Also taken from December 19 at 3 p.m.


Another way to look at it, the radar beam often runs into snow showers. With lake effect snow, however, sometimes radar on a normal day can be hard for radar to find.

With the radar down, lake effect snow will be impossible to find for some locations.

Radar 3d 2 Radar 3d

The repair is expected to take two weeks, assuming the weather does not impede the process.

Bad weather such as winds, snow, rain, ice, etc. could delay the maintenance further.

“It’s been operating for 25 years, it’s the end of its lifespan and so, we want to fix it before it breaks,” said Keysor.

Once the radar is repaired, it will mean a more reliable look at changing weather conditions.

You can always head over to for the latest forecasts.

Categories: Weather