STORM WARNING UPGRADE FOR NORTH
Doppler images make storms easy to track
TOWNSVILLE residents will be able access higher resolution weather maps, updated every six minutes, after a $ 100,000 upgrade to the Hervey Range weather watch radar.
The Bureau of Meteorology has completed an upgrade of the Townsville radar which will now provide Doppler images on its website.
Bureau of Meteorology deputy regional director Bruce Gunn said the Doppler technology could track the movement of precipitation particles which would provide the bureau with a better view inside cyclones, thunder storms and tornadoes.
He said the Doppler radar could go out to 150km and would allow the Townsville weather map to update every six minutes, down from every 10 minutes.
“This technology is the bread and butter for forecasters and it’s state- of- the- art,” he said.
Herbert MP Ewen Jones said there would be no excuse for residents not to prepare for a cyclone.
“The Bureau of Meteor- ology gives us the information with eight days notice if there’s a ( cyclone) coming up,” Mr Jones said.
“Cyclones rely on wind coming in and out. If we can get a better picture of that, we can better track where these storms are going.”
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment Bob Baldwin said the higher resolution images would provide greater information about rainfall intensity.
“The Townsville radar is strategically located in the national radar network, and will provide an enhanced service to allow local communities, emergency services, mining and agricultural stakeholders in Far North Queensland to track local weather,” Mr Baldwin said.
“This Doppler functionality, also upgraded in Cairns, will provide forecasters with improved ‘ nowcasting’ capabilities to more accurately detect and monitor severe weather events such as floods, thunderstorms and tropical cyclones.
“It means these densely populated northern regional town centres of Townsville and Cairns will have the best weather services available.”
The Hervey Range weather watch radar was installed in 2011, and replaced the previous radar which was on Mt Stuart.