Timing is everything and when it comes to weather coverage in and around the Twin Cities, the timing for radar maintenance begins starts the same day severe weather could impact the area.
Beginning today (Monday), maintenance will keep the Chanhassen-based radar out of action for approximately three weeks. The work will take away radar access for who are used to checking it via Weather.gov and on popular apps like RadarScope.
Below is an example of the radar view that'll be unavailable, as shown via Weather.gov (left) and the RadarScope app (right). In a nutshell, it's the coverage area that the National Weather Service in the Twin Cities keeps an eye on.
So how the heck are meteorologists and weather watchers going to keep tabs on storms that are forecast develop Monday?
For starters, the National Weather Service has a bevy of radar options.
"During the outage, our office will still be able to perform our standard level [SIC] of severe weather operations by utilizing neighboring radars, multi-radar multi-sensor (MRMS) derived products, and GOES high-resolution satellite data," the NWS Twin Cities tweeted Monday morning.
One radar Minnesotans can access is right here. It's the Upper Mississippi Valley sector radar, showing a regional view. It's not as zoomed in as the local Chanhassen radar shown above, but it still gives a good look at what's going on.
You can find access to regional radars out of Duluth, Grand Forks, La Crosse and Sioux Falls right here. All of them could prove useful for seeing a closer view of what's happening in the fringe areas of the Chanhassen radar, but none of them reach far enough to give a view of what's happened in the entire metro area.
The Duluth radar skims the northern fringe of the metro while the La Crosse radar scrapes the edge of the southern metro. The Grand Forks radar reaches about as far southeast as Alexandria, and the Sioux Falls radar stretches to near Willmar and Mankato, but that's about it.
Maintenance on the Chanhassen radar is expected to be completed by Sept. 19 at the latest.