Dop­pler im­ages make storms easy to track

Townsville Bulletin - - FRONT PAGE - AN­THONY GAL­LOWAY an­thony. gal­loway@ news. com. au

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.

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