Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology has begun the replacement of its weather radars at Mount Bassett, Queensland, and Gove Airport, Northern Territory, with dual-polarized Doppler radar technology.
The Mount Bassett radar will be offline for approximately six months, while the Gove replacement will take around two months.
Located at Mount Bassett, Mackay Harbour, the new Doppler technology will provide equivalent image quality to Queensland’s new Greenvale and Richmond radars.
Dr Peter Stone, the Bureau’s chief customer officer, said, “The Bureau is undertaking significant work to improve Queensland radar infrastructure. This includes a replacement radar that will be installed at Mackay and the upgrade of the Cairns radar. We are working with our customers to minimize disruption and we appreciate the community’s patience as we install the new radar.”
Similarly, the upgraded Gove Airport radar will provide the local community and industry with more reliable and up-to-date weather information. Jude Scott, the Bureau’s senior officer for the Northern Territory, said, “The Gove weather radar upgrade is part of a number of improvements we’re making to Bureau infrastructure in the Top End. In the last year we have also upgraded the Darwin Airport, Berrimah and Warruwi weather radars.”
The upgrades will have no impact to the Bureau’s forecasts and warnings, which are informed by observations from a range of assets including satellites, upper atmosphere monitoring and automatic weather stations. The Bureau’s MetEye service provides publicly accessible images showing temperature, rain and wind information. The community can also access satellite images from the Himawari-8 satellite on the Bureau’s website, showing cloud cover and lightning strikes.
The two projects are part of the Bureau’s ongoing work to enhance and improve the Australian radar and observation network with eight new radars, upgrades to 46 radars, and almost 700 automatic weather stations and 384 flood warning network assets across the country.