Radar Map Features

Radar Map Layers

The radar viewer allows for viewing of 4 image loops of 128 km radius, 256 km radius and 512 km composite radius radar images for most of the Bureau's radars. In addition, the Adelaide (Buckland Park), Brisbane (Mt Stapylton) and Melbourne radars allow for viewing of 64 km radius views, with the Brisbane and Melbourne radars producing 6 image loops.

The visibility of map details, including current weather observations, weather forecast districts, roads, railways, lakes and major rivers, river catchments and nearby radars (where available) can be optionally selected during radar loops to help better reference the information displayed.

Grafton radar 256 km view

Example of a frame from a 256 km radar loop.

There are three layers displayed by default when the radar map is opened: range, topography and locations.

radar viewer layers

Radar map display options.

The layers displayed may be varied by checking or unchecking the boxes listed under the radar map. To quickly display all the layers, click the "select all" button. To quickly clear the displayed layers, click the "clear all" button.

512 km Composite Images

The 512 km composite image is composed of data from nearby radars in addition to data from the selected radar. An example from Adelaide is shown below. Radars contributing to this composite are: Adelaide (Buckland Park), Adelaide (Sellicks Hill), Mt Gambier, Mildura and Woomera.

Note that rainfall images will appear and disappear when the part-time windfinding radars go into windfind mode. Click here for more information about the windfinding radars, including the routine windfind time periods.

adelaide 512km composite image

Example of the 512 km composite image for Adelaide.

National Mosaic

The national radar mosaic, shown below, is composed of data from all available radars in the Bureau's network. The number of radars contributing to the mosaic is indicated in the bottom right hand corner of the image.

National radar mosaic

Example of the national radar mosaic.

The hourly satellite image can be optionally selected as an additional layer on the national radar mosaic, as shown below. The date and time of the satellite image is indicated in white text. The date and time for both the radar and the satellite images are shown in UTC time. Click here to find out more about UTC time and how to convert to your local time.

National radar mosaic with satellite layer

Example of the national radar mosaic with the satellite image layer selected.

Nearby Radars

There are two methods for navigating to nearby radars. The directional navigational buttons, shown below, can be used to navigate to a nearby radar in any direction.

nearby radars

Links to navigate to nearby radars

The "nearby radars" map layer, when selected, displays icons representing the location and type (Doppler, dedicated weather watch, windfinding) of the nearby radars, as shown below.

radars near Marburg

Radars in the vicinity of Marburg radar, indicated by radar type.

The icons are as follows:

doppler icon Doppler radar

weather watch radar iconDedicated weather watch radar

windfind radar iconWindfinding radar

Place Names and Topography

Place names were chosen to assist in relating areas of rain to landmarks, and not because of the size of a town. In some cases where there are two places close to one another, one name is placed on the 128 km range map and the other on the 256 km range.

The topographic scale is shown on the maps with the following colour scale:

Topographic colours

Topographic colours

Longitude and Latitude

During radar loops, if you move your mouse over the radar map, the boxes on the right hand side show the latitude and longitude of the on-ground position of the mouse pointer. In the following example, the mouse is centered on the Grafton radar.

grafton radar image

Example of a longitude and latitude data.

Also displayed is distances from the current origin, which is usually the centre of the map. You can set a new origin by clicking your desired point on the map.

Date and Time Stamps

The local date and time at the radar is displayed above the radar controls, as shown below.

local time stamp

Example of the local time display.

At the bottom of the image, the location of the radar, date, time and the maximum radar range (e.g. 64 km, 128 km, 256 km or 512 km) are listed. The date and time stamp on the image are displayed in "UTC" (Coordinated Universal Time), which is the same as "GMT" (Greenwich Mean Time). The equivalent EST, CST and WST time zones are indicated below the image. During Daylight Saving EDT and CDT are also shown.

Sources for the Map Layer Features

The map layer data has been sourced from the following:

Weather Observations

Click here for more information about the weather observations layer.


The locations are a subset of the localities (bounded and unbounded) in the Gazetteer of Australia (2006) supplied by Geoscience Australia: http://www.ga.gov.au/nmd/products/thematic/gaz2006.jsp


Displays radial distances from the radar location.


Roads are subsets of the Geoscience Australia TOPO 250K (2006) Series 3 product: http://www.ga.gov.au/nmd/products/digidat/250k.jsp. The 64 km and 128 km radar images display dual carriageway, principal and secondary roads. The secondary roads are not shown for 256 km and 512 km radar.

Lakes & Major Rivers

The Geoscience Australia TOPO 250K (2006) Series 3 product is also the source of the Lakes & major rivers layer. Only named lakes and named watercourses are shown.


The primary source of the Railways layer is Geoscience Australia TOPO250K (2006) Series 3.

The Mandurah railway line was supplied by TransPerth. See http://www.transperth.wa.gov.au/TimetablesMaps/SpatialDataAccess/tabid/254/Default.aspx.


The Topography or elevation data are from the Global Digital Elevation Model (GTOPO30) developed by United States Geological Survey (1996). The data has been resampled to a 2 km grid. See http://edc.usgs.gov/products/elevation/gtopo30.html.

River Catchments

The River catchments are from the Geoscience Australia dataset, Australia's River Basins (1997) ( http://www.ga.gov.au/meta/ANZCW0703005427.html) with some additional boundaries supplied by the State Water Agencies.

Weather Forecast Districts

The Weather forecast districts are boundaries delineated from maps shown in the Bureau of Meteorology Weather Services Policy Handbook.

Nearby Radars

Show the location and type of other radars within the current radar image.

Other Information

Please note, the Australian coastline in all the radar map images is the Geoscience Australia’s GEODATA TOPO 2.5M (2003): http://www.ga.gov.au/nmd/products/digidat/2_5m.htm.

For any copyright issues relating to Geoscience Australia data, please refer to: http://www.ga.gov.au/copyright.jsp.

The projection for the individual radar map images at 64, 128, 256 and 512 km is gnomonic. Lambert Conformal, with standard parallels of 18S and 40S, Central Meridian 134E is the projection of the National Loop Radar image.