Upgraded Kalgoorlie weather radar provides more frequent and Doppler images to the public

2/12/2015

Federal Member for O’Connor Rick Wilson MP today announced the Bureau of Meteorology’s Kalgoorlie weather watch radar has been upgraded to provide Doppler radar images for the first time in regional Western Australia.

Doppler imagery will help forecasters more accurately detect and monitor severe weather events such as thunderstorms, which are a regular weather feature in the Goldfields region from November to April.

Additionally, radar images are now scanned and available to the public every six minutes instead of every 10 minutes. 

Mr Wilson said the Doppler images show wind speed and direction, a valuable addition to the rain images most commonly associated with weather radars.  

“The upgrade also includes a new improved rainfall service, which will provide a more comprehensive estimation of rainfall amounts in the Kalgoorlie area,” he said.

The new radar-based rainfall information is accessible via the Bureau’s radar viewer and provides the best possible mix of radar and rain gauge data.

“This service provides more information than is currently available from the rain gauge network alone. The community will now get a much better snapshot of where the heaviest rain has fallen,” Mr Wilson said.

“The increased data frequency will help forecasters to more accurately detect and monitor severe weather events.”

Meteorologists and hydrologists combine radar information with satellite and surface observations, as well as numerical models, as a basis for developing weather forecasts and warnings.

Forecasts and warnings provided by the Bureau are essential to the economic livelihood of the nation, including the agriculture, resources, construction, and aviation industries as well as the nation’s defence forces.

The Kalgoorlie weather watch radar was installed in May 2014, replacing the previous ageing radar.

The area covered by the radar will also benefit from improved higher-resolution forecasts from the Bureau's new supercomputer.  The supercomputer will allow the Bureau to integrate much more observational data, including data from radars, and refine its forecast models for the region.
ENDS
 

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