Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) has completed an upgrade to its Willis Island weather radar, providing Northern Queensland communities with access to more reliable and up-to-date weather information.
The weather radar on Willis Island, which sits 450km off the coast of Cairns, has been offline since September 12, 2022, to allow for the installation of a new digital receiver and control system. The upgrade will provide BoM with new capabilities such as being able to track the location and strength of wind changes.
Piero Chessa, group executive for community services at BoM, said, “Emergency services, aviation and resources, defense, marine safety and the local community will benefit from clearer images and improved radar stability provided by the new digital receiver and control system. Other benefits include improved severe storm monitoring and alerting, by detecting weather systems such as cyclones and increased accuracy and reliability of the radar,” he said.
The Willis Island weather station is part of a comprehensive weather observation network of more than 11,000 assets, including satellites, upper-atmosphere monitoring, automatic weather stations, ocean buoys and flood warning networks.
This weather radar upgrade is part of BoM’s ongoing work to enhance and improve the Australian radar and observation network.