12 November 2012
A new Weather Watch radar has been installed at Mount Isa. It will provide detailed information over a large part of Northwest Queensland from the Northern Territory border east to between Cloncurry and Richmond and from Boulia, north towards the Gulf of Carpentaria, linking up with the coverage currently afforded by the Mornington Island radar.
The new radar will be a significant addition to the Bureau's national radar network, and it will substantially improve the ability of local communities to track weather for agricultural, mining, recreational and other needs. Importantly, the radar will increase the ability of the Bureau and community to monitor severe weather events.
The Mount Isa Radar will have Doppler capability which allows the display of wind flows associated with weather systems as well as rainfall intensity on the Bureau's website. This information helps forecasters and the community to see, in greater detail, upcoming weather including severe weather such as thunderstorms.
The new radar will also help improve forecasts for the region by providing forecasters with additional information on rainfall from summer storms and tropical cyclones. These improvements include better:
- community access to real time radar imagery via the Bureau's website
- short term forecasts of rainfall and warnings of severe weather, including hail and damaging winds
- estimates of rainfall rates for use in flood warnings
- detection of clear air boundaries which are vital for groups like bushfire management agencies and the aviation industry
The radar location is situated on top of Telstra Hill, 8km east of Mount Isa city. The radar site is some 501m above sea level with the tower an additional 22m above ground level.
The new radar was installed as part of the Strategic Radar Enhancement Project (SREP). The SREP initiative will deliver four new radars nationally thereby closing significant gaps in the existing weather radar coverage for Australia, and develop the underlying science to enhance the capability in weather warnings and forecasts.
The following pages will be made available on 12 November 2012.