BOM radar will be down due to late upgrades

BOM radar will be down due to late upgrades

Townsville’s weather radar will be taken offline from Monday for a significant upgrade – expected to take up to five months, the Met Office has confirmed.

Plans to replace the radar in the Hervey Range were delayed as Cyclone Jasper reached north Queensland in December, but the Bureau of Meteorology said on Sunday it would be switched off from 5am to 7.30pm Monday to Friday until “March to May 2024”. “.

The radar will be replaced by “modern, reliable dual-polarized Doppler radar technology” that will be built 50 meters from the current site by mid-2024, BOM said.

“Severe weather can occur at any time of the year, and radar replacements and upgrades present complex scheduling challenges for the office,” a spokesperson said.

“There are many projects in various stages of development across the country, and while we seek to avoid construction during the severe weather season, some projects are experiencing delays.”

Met Office Townsville radar for the Hervey area. Image: Met Office

The spokesman said that the new radar will consist of a radar tower, a radar dome, and an equipment shelter.

“In the event of bad weather, construction will stop and the old radar will temporarily return to service.”

The radars emit non-ionizing radiation during operation, “so to ensure the safety of workers, the old radar must be turned off while the new radar is installed,” BOM said.

“Under normal operating conditions, weather radars pose no risk to the general public.”

During the outage, alternative sources of rainfall information were available, including the Greenvale and Bowen radars which provided some overlapping coverage of the area, she said.

Both can be accessed on the office’s website and the BOM Weather app.

Rainfall information for North Queensland on the Bureau of Meteorology website. Image: Met Office

“The Bureau’s MetEye service provides publicly available imagery showing information on temperature, precipitation and wind,” a spokesperson said.

“The community can also access satellite images from the Himawari-9 satellite.

“These images are available on the office’s website and show cloud cover and lightning strikes.”

BOM said hourly rainfall forecasts and observations will remain available on the BOM Weather app.

She added: “There will be no impact on the bureau’s forecasts and warnings, which rely on observations from a range of assets including satellites, upper atmosphere monitoring and automatic weather stations.”

“Updated forecasts, observations and warnings will continue to be posted on the bureau’s website bom.gov.au and on the BOM Weather app.”

Upgraded radar 25 kilometers west-southwest of Townsville will provide more reliable and up-to-date weather information.

(tags for translation) Lengthy upgrades

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