Weather radar network renewal

See rainfall in more detail, as it happens

We are making key improvements to our radar infrastructure increasing our radar capability so we can continue to help you conduct post-event flooding analyses.

Our current network consists of 15 operational weather radars across the UK providing real-time information to help monitor and forecast heavy rainfall. 

Weather radar network renewal project

The Weather Radar Network Renewal Project is jointly funded by the Met Office and the Environment Agency. It will provide major investment and improvements in new weather radar systems and technology. This will help address some of the challenges with the current network and provide a radar service that has the ability to meet future requirements.

The aims of the renewal project are:

  • To use the latest technology to increase radar capability, such as dual polarisation which will improve quality control and rainfall rate accuracy.
  • To provide the potential for future increase in capability, for example hydrometeor classification.
  • To extend the operational life of the network by a further 15-20 years

To achieve these aims we are:

  • Replacing the old radar systems with new dual polarisation and doppler technology.
  • Installing new high specification radomes.
  • Installing higher bandwidth communications to move the data being generated around the network quicker and more efficiently.
  • Recycling and reusing components, where possible, for a reduced environmental impact.

Project timescales

The project is due for completion by Winter 2016 with each radar site being non-operational for up to 6 months in total. There will be two separate outage periods, the first to install the doppler and the second, slightly longer task, to upgrade the tower infrastructure and install the dual polarisation radome. All efforts will be made to minimise the radar outage as much as possible but weather is a high risk for both the installations and the testing of the new systems. We will not work simultaneously on two sites in the same part of the country and therefore ensure that a back-up site is always available during any outage period.

Read the project timescales for further details of when your nearest radar will be affected.

If you require any further information about the weather radar network enhancements or would like to discuss how it will benefit your business please email water@metoffice.gov.uk

Last updated: 7 August 2013