The upgrade of the State’s coastal radar network commenced in Albany today, to provide landholders and emergency services with an enhanced weather service.
The works are a part of a project funded by the State Government via the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development to upgrade the Bureau of Meteorology’s facilities at Albany, and later Geraldton, to Doppler radar capability.
The new Doppler radars will provide 24 hour, high quality rainfall and wind information over a larger area, updated every six minutes on the department’s and bureau’s websites.
To undertake the installation, the Albany radar service will be offline for about 12 weeks.
South coast landholders and residents will still be able to access timely and useful rainfall and wind information via the department and the Bureau’s websites.
Department research officer Ian Foster said a number of alternative services were available to access real time rainfall and wind information.
“The department’s website will show real time rainfall and wind data collected from its network of automatic weather stations, located throughout the region,” Dr Foster said.
“This includes rainfall since 9am, wind speed and direction, as well as a wealth of other weather information.
“The website has recently been enhanced to make it easier to navigate and tailor information to the user’s requirements.
“Some south coast residents may also be able to use radar images from the department’s Newdegate Doppler radar or the Bureau’s Esperance radar.”
Weather forecasts and observations in the area covered by the Albany radar will also be available from the Bureau’s MetEye, Satellite View and Observations webpages.
Bureau spokesman Neil Bennett said with the possibility of thunderstorms on the south coast later this week, landholders and residents may consider using its online lightning tracker to monitor weather conditions.
“The bureau’s satellite image features a lightning tracker, which shows where lightning occurs in clouds, enabling website users to watch the direction of the storm,” he said.
“MetEye also provides real time observations of wind speed and direction, detailed three hourly forecasts, while the satellite image updates cloud movements every 10 minutes.”
The Geraldton Doppler radar installation is expected to commence once the Albany works are complete and the Bureau will commence an upgrade of the radar at Esperance in late 2019.