WORK is about to start on upgrading WA’s coastal radar network that the State government believes will make it the best weather monitoring service in Australia.
The State government has committed $4.6 million to upgrade the Bureau of Meteorology’s (BoM) Albany and Geraldton facilities to Doppler capability, providing more accurate and credible weather information for farmers.
The improvements will generate valuable data on rainfall intensity and wind speed and direction, updated every six minutes on BoM and Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development’s (DPIRD) websites.
WA will have almost complete Doppler radar coverage across the agricultural regions when the upgrade is finished and BoM completes its planned Doppler upgrade to its Esperance facility.
The enhanced radar service, together with DPIRD’s network of 175 weather stations, will enable agribusinesses to make more informed, data-driven decisions while also providing crucial real time information to emergency services.
Agriculture and Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan said the upgrades would support the radar network at Newdegate, South Doodlakine and Watheroo to provide regional businesses and residents with a first-rate weather service that will help boost productivity and profitability.
“The enhanced coastal coverage will also provide invaluable information to emergency services, which will aid response strategies to severe storms, bushfires and land and sea rescues,” Ms MacTiernan said.
“While the upgraded radars will be offline while the upgrade is underway, the bureau and DPIRD will continue to provide regular weather updates via their websites, including real time observations via the organisations’ combined weather station networks.
“This ongoing investment in the State’s infrastructure will ensure Western Australia is equipped with the best weather monitoring technology that will ensure agribusinesses, regional residents and emergency services are well supported for the future generations.”