The Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) in Australia has completed the first phase of an upgrade to its Serpentine radar in Perth which now utilizes dual-polarized Doppler radar technology for observing real-time rainfall and wind conditions across large areas.
The Perth radar is one 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.
By June 2024, BoM plans to deliver eight new radars, plus upgrades to 46 radars, almost 700 automatic weather stations and 200 flood warning network sites across the country. These works are intended to provide Australians with access to more reliable and up-to-date weather information.
Todd Smith, manager of BoM’s hazard and preparedness response department, said, “We are undertaking the replacement works in two phases to ensure that there is minimal disruption to the community. The first phase is now complete, with the installation of new mains electrical wiring and fiber-optic communications at the site southeast of Perth.
“Phase two will start in early 2022, allowing for the severe weather season. Thunderstorms occur on average around twice a month in Perth between November to January. The radar will need to be turned off again during that phase, which will include the installation of a new tower and radome. We will of course inform the community ahead of that outage.”