As well as planning work, DPIRD committed $4.6 million to upgrade the Bureau of Meteorology's (BoM) existing Albany and Geraldton radars – with each receiving $2.3 million.
The funding saw the upgrading of the existing radars, at these two locations, to Doppler capability (in 2019) and which are now able to provide more accurate and credible weather information for farmers, and assist to boost agribusiness capacity and emergency services in the regions.
The improvements are helping generate valuable data on rainfall intensity, wind speed and direction, with information updated every six minutes on DPIRD's and the Bureau's websites.
The Bureau also committed $2.3 million in funding towards a similar Doppler upgrade to its Esperance facility, completed in February 2020.
WA now has almost full Doppler radar coverage across the State's agricultural regions.
The enhanced radar service, together with DPIRD's network of 187 automated weather stations, will enable agribusinesses to make more informed, data-driven decisions while also providing crucial real-time information to emergency services.
DPIRD's weather station network includes 16 weather stations, which were installed in late 2019 in Albany, Geraldton and Esperance to assist with the ground-truthing of the three upgraded coastal Doppler radars at these locations.
The recently completed coastal radar upgrades complement the State's investment in the Newdegate, South Doodlakine and Watheroo Doppler radar installations (2017).
Thanks to the completion of the radar projects, regional businesses and residents now have access to a first-rate weather service and nearly full radar coverage across the WA grainbelt.
Information from the recently upgraded coastal Doppler radars at Albany, Geraldton and Esperance is also now live on the updated DPIRD Weather Website.