Replacing radars for a more resilient network

We're replacing a number of existing radars with new radars in:

  • Mackay, QLD
  • Marburg, QLD
  • Gove, NT

Improved services for the community

Dual-polarised Doppler radars are one of the best tools for everyone to observe real-time rainfall and wind across large areas.

They're a key part of our observation network, along with:

  • satellites
  • upper atmosphere observation equipment
  • automatic weather stations.

Information from the network supports major businesses in sectors such as:

  • farming
  • mining
  • transport.

It helps them to make better decisions. For example, when:

  • preparing for severe weather
  • moving stock
  • using chemicals such as fertilisers
  • sowing and harvesting.

The network provides vital data for our forecasts. New radars mean more accurate and reliable data, which helps improve forecast accuracy for everyone.

Construction process

Each radar project is unique. A range of factors may impact the delivery timeline, including severe weather and COVID-19 restrictions.

During the replacement process there will typically be an outage period (or multiple outage periods) of 3-6 months (depending upon the site), where the existing radar is turned off to allow for site works and installation of the new radar.

The Bureau will communicate any delays to the local community.

Site selection
Selecting the right site is complex. We consider factors such as:
  • lines of sight, now and into the future
  • obstructions
  • access to power and data communications
  • land ownership
  • other local concerns
Design and construction
  • Building approvals gained.
  • Components ordered and delivered.
  • Site designs created.
  • Foundations laid.
  • Existing radar switched off.
Key components are installed, including the:
  • mast
  • antenna
  • radome - the ball-style antenna covering
  • radar cabinet.
We test and check data quality to confirm the radar is operating properly.
Any outages or unforeseen issues are addressed.
Go live
The radar begins recording data. This is delivered to Australians through:

Access to weather information during radar replacements

There are other ways to view the weather, besides radar.

Access weather information, including the latest forecasts and warnings, on our website or the BOM Weather app


Use our Rain radar and weather maps to view forecasts from 3 hours to 7 days for:

  • temperature
  • wind
  • rain
  • humidity
  • storms
  • sea swell.

The forecasts cover land and coast in 6km square grids.

Satellite images

Use our satellite viewer to see rain, thunderstorms and lightning.

View high-resolution satellite images at 10-minute intervals. You can see cold fronts moving in from the west, and lightning and storm activity anywhere, anytime.

More radar project details

For the location, status and timing of all of our current observation network projects, see our Current projects page.