Works are about to commence to upgrade the State’s coastal radar network to make Western Australia’s weather monitoring service the best in Australia.
The McGowan Government has committed $4.6 million to upgrade the Bureau of Meteorology’s 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 the Bureau’s and Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development’s websites.
Western Australia will have almost complete Doppler radar coverage across the agricultural regions when the upgrade is finished and the Bureau of Meteorology completes its planned Doppler upgrade to its Esperance facility.
The enhanced radar service, together with the department’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.
As noted by Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan:
“The coastal radar upgrade will complement the State’s investment in the Newdegate, South Doodlakine and Watheroo Doppler installations 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.
“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.”