The Weekly Advertiser

Bureau provides Rainbow radar insights

An artist's impression of the radar.

An artist’s impression of the radar.

Accurately tracking the real-time path of insects as well as rain, hail and smoke will be among capabilities of a new multi-million-dollar radar station near Rainbow.
The new station between Jeparit and Rainbow will be able to pinpoint approaching particles in the air and provide critical information for everyone from farmers to emergency service personnel.
Construction of the state-of-the-art German-built Doppler station, on track for completion in April next year or sooner, will represent the realisation of a project spanning more than a decade.
Regional leaders long ago established a need and desire for a Wimmera-Mallee radar system to fill a real-time forecasting gap between radar services at Mildura and Mt Gambier.
A Wimmera Development Association 2015 business case estimated farmer efficiencies gained through real-time weather information would equate to an annual $3.5-million benefit to the region’s $1.6-billion food-production industry.
It also detailed projected benefits in emergency and water management and aviation services.
Bureau of Meteorology state manager Andrew Tupper provided a project update while visiting the region.
He said the radar would be on its way to Australia after construction in Germany this year.
“We hope to announce when construction will start at the site. We’re expecting work to start soon,” he said.
“We’re well on track to have it finished by next April.
“We will not only see where the rain is falling but what we’re actually looking at, be it hail, rain, smoke, insects or even bats.
“We will be able to see particles, how fast the air is moving and a lot more.”
Mr Tupper said the bureau would also soon be replacing an ageing Mildura radar station, which would improve information gathering even more.
He also stressed the bureau would continue to rely heavily on the many people reading gauges.
The Rainbow radar station, standing 30 metres high and appearing similar to a giant golf ball, will become a Rainbow landmark.
It has an official lifespan of 15 years but expectations are that authorities will use the information it collects for decades.
“It took a while for everything to line up and we’ve seen all levels of government working together,” Mr Tupper said.
“We’re going to get a really good outcome.
“Unfortunately the radar won’t be able to create the weather but it will help use weather data better.”
In 2016 the State Government committed $5-million to cover capital costs of the project and the Federal Government $3.2-million for commissioning and annual operating and maintenance costs.

The entire April 10, 2019 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!

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Posted on Apr 10 2019

Posted by on Apr 10 2019. Filed under Agriculture, Community, Environment, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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