Radar back in action for National Weather Service in Lake Charles

Updated: Jan. 21, 2021 at 6:48 PM CST
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - The US National Weather Service in Lake Charles is closer to having a working radar after theirs was destroyed in Hurricane Laura.

The last radar sweep captured by Lake Charles weather service happened just before it was blown apart by the eyewall of the hurricane.

“We had wind speeds probably of 150 mph or stronger that actually destroyed the radar,” said Warning Coordination Meteorologist Roger Erickson.

The National Weather Service meteorologist said after the storm, they continued to forecast data with overlapping radars from other areas around the region, but losing their radar did pose some problems.

“In terms of being able to detail where the low-level circulation and potential tornadoes and stuff like that…we didn’t have any of that for all these months.”

For the last few months, they’ve been working on putting a new radar together, which can be expensive. A new one can cost millions of dollars. Now after a lot of work, the new radar could be fully operational by Friday.

“For me personally, it’s like having a coworker making it back to the office.”

Erickson said the new radar is making its way back just in time for the severe weather season that usually begins in February and lasts through May.

“I’m happy that we’re getting back online before the worst part of sever weather season gets here.”

The radar is still in a preliminary testing state, but it will be back in action no later than next week.

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