Queensland Information

Bowen

  • Location: Abbot Point (lat 19.88° S, long 148.08° E)
  • Type: WF100—6C/8 radar, with a 2.4m dish and 1.7° beam width
  • Availability (Typical): 24 hours per day

Interpretation Notes

The radar is situated at the top of the hill at the Northern tip of Abbot Point, approximately 25km North West of the Bowen Township. The radar has good coverage over the ocean from North West, through the North, East and South East. Inland, the radar's view is partially obscured by some hills (approx. 700m high) about 10 to 20 km to the SSE and by an isolated hill (approx. 250m high) about 6km to the WSW. These obstructions may hamper the detection of rainfall in these directions. The radar is well sited for detecting tropical cyclones out over the Coral Sea and for tracking thunderstorms over land. During the winter months when the South East trades winds are active, the radar will be able to detect developing showers. However, it can also be affected by sea clutt er during windy conditions when the rough sea surface reflects the radar signal possibly masking light inshore showers.

Brisbane (Mt. Stapylton)

  • Location: lat 27.718° S, long 153.240° E
  • Type: Meteor 1500 S-band Doppler
  • Availability (Typical): 24 hours per day

Interpretation Notes

Geographical Situation

The radar is located on an isolated hill about 150m above mean sea level, just east of Beenleigh. This site provides good low-level coverage, ideal for Doppler observations, of the Greater Brisbane area.

The Great Dividing Range to the west and the Lamington Plateau to the south, reduce the radar's view from the south through to the west, affecting its ability to detect weak rainfall from low clouds beyond these obstructions.

The radar's coverage, based on detecting echoes at an altitude of 3000m, extends to a range of about 200 km in the north to Tin Can Bay, then it follows a smooth arc through the east to the south-south-east, where it rapidly reduces to about 150 km at Evans Head. Inland it extends in a ragged arc from Evans Head, to Casino, Tenterfield, Stanthorpe, Karara, Dalby, Kingaroy and to Tin Can Bay.

Meteorological Aspects

The radar is well sited to detect rainfall from the west through to the north, the east and to the south. Storms that move into, or develop in and around the Brisbane valley may be tracked and monitored effectively.

During summertime, rain depressions and storms approaching from the northwest and the north may be readily detected as can any tropical cyclones over the ocean to the north through to the south east.

In winter time, rain bearing systems approaching from the southwest and south may be partially obscured by the Great Dividing Range and the Lamington Plateau.

Non-meteorological echoes

In most cases, processing of the radar signal removes permanent echoes caused b y hills, buildings and other solid objects, but sometimes a few slip through. These usually show up as small, stationary patches of rain, mostly along the higher ground. On cold clear winter nights these echoes may become stronger or increase in number.

During times of strong winds, sea clutter may be visible off the coast to the east. Sea clutter may be distinguished from rain echoes because it does not move with the wind.

Cairns

  • Location: Saddle Mountain (lat 16.82° S, long 145.68° E)
  • Type: WF 100 C-Band
  • Availability (Typical): 24 hours per day

Interpretation Notes

Cairns radar is situated approximately 9km NNW of Cairns airport at Saddle Mountain on the Kuranda range at a height of 652m above MSL. The radar has good visibility in all directions, though does have some limitations to the SSE looking over Mt Bellenden Ker (1593m) and Mt Bartle Frere (1622m) at approximately 40 and 60km respectively.

Emerald (Central Highlands)

  • Location: Emerald (lat 23.5494° South, long 148.2392° East)
  • Type: DWSR 8502S 2° S-band
  • Availability (Typical): 24 hours per day

Interpretation Notes

Geographical Situation

The radar is located on a gentle rise9kmeast of Emerald township on Foley rd, just off the Capricorn Highway.The radar is ideally sited to provide meteorological coverage for the surrounding area, with an almost unobstructed view in all directions.

Meteorological Aspects

The radar is well situated to monitor rain bearing weather systems that may affect the catchments and valleys of Lake Maraboon, the Nogoa river and Theresa Creek systems. Thunderstorms, rain bearing depressions, troughs and fronts will be able to be tracked and the distribution of rainfall produced by these systems can be monitored to provide valuable information for flood and severe weather warnings.

Non-meteorological aspects

In most cases the processing of the radar signal removes permanent echoes caused by obstructions such as hills, buildings and other solid objects. Occasionally, some permanent echoes will not be completely removed from the display. These echoes usually occur as isolated, stationary patches. In the Doppler wind product, road traffic on the Capricorn Highway may occasionally be noticeable near theradar.

Gladstone

  • Location: Gladstone (lat 23.86° S, long 151.26° E)
  • Type: WSR74 S-Band
  • Availability (Typical): 24 hours per day

Interpretation Notes

This radar has almost unrestricted views to seawards from the north to the south-southeast. Elsewhere, the topography restricts the ability of the radar to detect only major echoes to the northwest, the south-southwest and the south-southeast. However, strong echoes can be detected as far west as Moura and Theodore. During episodes of fresh to strong winds (>20kt or 38km/h) sea clutter can be seen up to 30km from the coast possibly masking light inshore showers.

Gympie (Mt Kanigan)

  • Location: Mt Kanighan (lat 25.957° South, long 152.577° East)
  • Type: DWSR 8502S 2° S-band
  • Availability (Typical): 24 hours per day

Interpretation Notes

Geographical Situation

The radar is located on top of an isolated cluster of hills, approximately 27km NNW of Gympie, some two kilometres west of the Bruce Highway near Glenwood. The Great Dividing Range is located about 40 km west of the radar and runs from the NNW to the SSE. The radar has a good view of the coastal plains from the Town of 1770 in the NNW to Beenleigh, southeast of Brisbane. The view to the west is only minimally reduced by the Great Dividing Range with good coverage extending inland to Monto, Chinchilla, Dalby and Toowoomba.

Meteorological Aspects

The radar is ideally sited to provide meteorological coverage for the coast between Gladstone and Brisbane, and the adjoining hinterland.

During summer, Tropical Cyclones can be effectively tracked as they approach the coast, or as rain depressions approach from the northern interior. Similarly, thunderstorms that develop over the Great Dividing Range can be monitored and tracked.

Non-meteorological aspects

Processing of the radar signals removes most, but not all, ground clutter reflections from hills, buildings and other stationary solid objects. This usually appears as small patches of sometimes intense reflectivity, mostly close to the radar and near high ground within view of the radar. In the presence of significant temperature inversions these may become more frequent or may be seen at greater distances from the radar. Strong winds may also increase the amount of ground clutter from hills due to tree movement.

Large container ships may also be visible from time.

During strong winds, sea clutter may be noticeable in the waters around the southern part of Fraser Island, both in the open ocean and in the waters between the island and the mainland. Sea Clutter may be distinguished from rain echoes because it does not move with the wind and stops abruptly at the coastline.

Longreach

  • Location: Longreach Airport (lat 23.43° S, long 144.29° E)
  • Type: WF 100 C-Band
  • Availability (Typical): Midnight - 09.15; 10.30 - 15.15; 16.30 - 21.15; 22.30 -midnight

Interpretation Notes

This radar has good visibility in all directions with light echoes being detected out to about 100km and stronger echoes out to about 300km. Light rain from mid-level cloud can be "seen" out to about 250km, however, these can sometimes be misleading as the radar often detects virga (precipitation which does not reach the ground).

Mackay

  • Location: Mt Bassett (42m), Mackay Harbour (lat 21.12° S, long 149.22° E)
  • Type: TVDR2500C
  • Availability (Typical): Midnight - 09.15; 10.30 - 15.15; 16.30 - 21.15; 22.30 -midnight

Interpretation Notes

Mackay radar has a good view of the surrounding area and is rarely affected by anomalous propagation. Some permanent echoes occur to the north and west. Showers in the SE trade wind flow are generally well picked up but when they are restricted in height the range of detection decreases so that showers around the Whitsunday Islands and northward can be under-represented. Generally the radar's range for coastal showers extends from about St Lawrence to Bowen. Path attenuation also occurs when the radar beam passes through an intense thunderstorm cell; the returned signal from cells further along that path will be reduced. Apart from these features, the radar performs well and gives a reasonably accurate representation of rainfall intensity. During episodes of fresh to strong winds (>20kt or 38km/h) sea clutter can be seen up to 30km from the coast possibly masking light inshore showers.

Marburg

  • Location: Marburg (lat 27.61° S, long 152.54° E)
  • Type: WSR74 S-Band
  • Availability (Typical): 24 hours per day

Interpretation Notes

Situated at 370m on the Little Liverpool Range between Marburg and Rosewood and 53 km west of the Brisbane GPO this radar has a good overall view of precipitation in all sectors. However, there is some restriction on detection of low level precipitation in a narrow sector to the west southwest and over the Greater Brisbane Area. It is a fairly sensitive radar and sometimes detects virga (precipitation that does not reach the ground). This may give a false impression of rainfall affecting the area it covers.

Mornington Island

  • Location: Gununa (lat 16.67° S, long 139.17° E)
  • Type: WF 100 C-Band
  • Availability (Typical): 24 hours per day

Interpretation Notes

Mornington Island radar has a good view of the surrounding area - mostly the Gulf of Carpentaria and low lying coastal areas of the Gulf country. Sea-breeze convergence lines can return false echoes (anomalous propagation), as can strong temperature inversions in the lower levels of the atmosphere. Path attenuation also occurs when the radar beam passes through an intense thunderstorm cell; the returned signal from cells further along that path will be reduced. Apart from these features, the radar performs well and gives a reasonably accurate representation of rainfall intensity.

Mount Isa

  • Location: Mount Isa (lat 20.7114° S, long 139.5553° E)
  • Type: DWSR 8502S 2° S-band
  • Availability (Typical): 24 hours per day

Interpretation Notes

The radar is situated 8km east of Mount Isa City on a hill just just off the Barkly Highway. The radar site is some 501m above sea level with the tower an additional 22m above ground level. The radar is ideally sited to provide meteorological coverage for the surrounding area, with an almost unobstructed view in all directions. The exception being an isolated obstruction to the SSE at all ranges due to the vicinity of a Telstra communications tower. This obstruction may affect rainfall detection in that direction but due to the isolated nature of the obstruction impact would be minor. There is also minor obstruction at a distance greater than 200km to the SE due to a section of the Selwyn Ranges south of Cloncurry. The radar is well sited for tracking of rain events including thunderstorms and rain bearing depressions. The radar provides partial coverage of the Nicholson & Gregory, Leichhardt, Flinders and Georgina river catchments.

Townsville (Hervey Range)

  • Location: Hervey Range (lat 19.42° S, long 146.55° E)
  • Type: DWSR 2502 C band
  • Availability (Typical): 24 hours per day

Interpretation Notes

The site at Hervey Range is at elevation (590m) making it a fairly good site for Townsville's main weather watch radar. It does however suffer some obstruction to it's view due to the higher terrain around the region. Mt Elliott (1234m) lies approximately 40km to the ESE and considerably restricts the radar's ability to see light to moderate precipitation echoes in that direction. The Hervey Range itself to the west and the Paluma Range to the northwest can obscure early development of thunderstorms, but fully developed storms are picked up well. SE trade wind showers are common along the coast during the dry season and the radar's range for these extends from offshore Innisfail to Bowen. It is possible that coastal locations between these towns and locations inland of Ingham may experience light to moderate showers that are not picked up on the Hervey Range radar, that might be detectedby the adjacent radars at Bowen (Abbot Point) and Cairns(Saddle Mountain). Very distant showers in the Coral Sea may also not be better detected by these adjacent radars due to their superior ocean outlook. Low level drizzle can also go undetected due to the radar beam going over the top of the precipitation. Heavy rain over the radar site will cause attenuation of all signals. Path attenuation also occurs when the radar beam passes through an intense thunderstorm cell; the returned signal from cells further along that path will be reduced. Apart from these features, the radar performs well and gives a reasonably accurate representation of rainfall intensity.

Warrego

  • Location: About 110 km east of Charleville near the Dulbydilla siding (lat 26.44° S, long 147.35° E)
  • Type: TVDR 2500 C-band
  • Availability (Typical): 24 Hours per day

Interpretation Notes

Geographical Situation

The radar is located on the south side of the Warrego Highway about 110 km east of Charleville. The site is on the Great Dividing Range and is near the highest point on the highway between Roma and Charleville. The radar's horizon is only slightly affected by the rising ground of the foothills of the Chesteron Rage to the north and west. In all other directions the land is generally undulating plains gradually sloping down towards the south. The radar's coverage has minor reductions from the west, through north to the north-east due to the foothills of the Chesterton Range. The agricultural land from the west of Charleville to the east of Roma falls within the radar's coverage, as does the area around Carnarvon Gorge to the north and Bollon to the south.

Meteorological Aspects

The radar is well situated to monitor rain bearing weather systems that may affect the catchments and valleys of the Warrego and the Maranoa River basins. Thunderstorms, rain bearing depressions, troughs and fronts will be able to be tracked and the distribution of rainfall produced by these systems can be monitored to provide valuable information for flood and severe weather warnings.

Non-meteorological aspects

In most cases the processing of the radar signal removes permanent echoes caused by obstructions such as hills, buildings and other solid objects. Occasionally, some permanent echoes will not be completely removed from the display. These echoes usually occur as isolated, stationary patches along the Great Dividing Range and other prominent outcrops.These effects usually become more noticeable on cold, clear, winter nights or early winter mornings when cold air lies near the land's surface.

Weipa

  • Location: Weipa Airport (lat 12.67° S, long 141.92° E)
  • Type: WF 100 C-Band
  • Availability (Typical): 24 hours per day

Interpretation Notes

The Weipa Radar is situated at Weipa Airport. Good coverage can be expected in all directions from Torres Strait in the North to Edward River in the south. Reflectivity return echoes generally have good representative values out to 300km with exception of light / moderate rain echoes on the eastern seaboard of Cape York Peninsular.

Willis Island

  • Location: Willis Island (lat 16.288° S, long 149.965° E)
  • Type: DWSR 2502 (C-Band)
  • Availability (Typical): Radar Availability (Typical): 0000—0315, 0430—0915, 1030—1515, 1630—2115, 2230—2400 (EST)

Interpretation Notes

Geographical Situation

Willis Island is a small island located in the Coral Sea approximately 450 km east of Cairns.The total land area is 7.7 hectares and the island's highest point is 9 m above sea level.Natural grass covers much of the land together with several coconut and casuarina trees that have been planted near the meteorological office buildings.The Willis Island radar is well located to observe rainfall from tropical cyclones which can approach the coast of Tropical North Queensland between November and April.

Meteorological Aspects

The radar view is unrestricted in all directions and heavy rain due to strong convection and thunderstorms may be detected up to a maximum range of approximately 300 km. However, light showers will only be detected at a reduced range of the order of 200 km.The radar beam may lose power when passing through heavy rainnear the radar and this can reduce the effective range of the radar and the intensity of the returned echoes.Willis Island can be affected by tropical depressions and tropical cyclones during the northern wet season and experiences prevailing southeasterly trade winds during the dry.Rain echoes from severe tropical cyclones will rotate about a clear central eye with the heaviest rainfall usually located near the eye.

Non-meteorological aspects

During times of strong winds, false echoes from the sea surface or sea clutter may be visible in any direction.This is most likely to occur during dry season months when surges in the southeasterly trade winds are common.Sea clutter may be distinguished from rain echoes because it does not move with the background winds.