New weather radar at Richmond supports North Queensland communities and industry
Issued: 12:30pm, 30 September 2022
North Queensland communities such as Hughenden, Winton, Georgetown and Julia Creek will benefit from a newly completed dual-polarised Doppler weather radar at Richmond.
Images from the weather radar - located approximately 2.5 km south of the town of Richmond in the Richmond Shire Council of North Queensland - are now live on the Bureau of Meteorology's website and BOM Weather app.
Bureau of Meteorology's acting Group Executive Community Services, Matt Collopy, said the dual-polarised Doppler radar is one of the best technologies for observing real-time rainfall and wind conditions across large areas.
"As well as improved coverage across the Diamantina, Cooper, Flinders, and parts of the Norman and Gilbert River catchments, radar coverage will now extend along the significant supply route of Flinders Highway, from Mount Isa to Townsville. This will improve the Bureau's ability to make weather observations in the region and to warn the community about the potential impacts of severe weather," Mr Collopy said.
Mr Collopy said the technology would support local industry such as agriculture, transport and tourism in making better decisions when preparing for severe weather.
"An increase in forecast accuracy helps farming businesses make timely decisions, such as movement of stock, chemical and fertiliser application, sowing and harvesting," he said.
"The radar will also provide enhanced information for emergency services with better fire plume height estimation and detection of fire-generated thunderstorms."
As part of the Richmond radar project, the Bureau will install a number of rainfall gauges near the radar. Rainfall gauges record actual rainfall and the data is used to improve the accuracy of the radar images.
The new Richmond radar is one of four new radars being delivered in Queensland as part of a $77.2 million commitment by the Australian Government. The Greenvale and Taroom radars are complete and a fourth radar will be built near Toowoomba in the Darling Downs region. The existing radar in Moree (New South Wales) will also be relocated to provide increased coverage of southern Queensland.
This project is part of the Bureau's ongoing work to enhance and improve the Australian radar and observation network.
The Richmond radar is one part of a comprehensive weather observation network of more than 11,000 assets including satellites, upper atmosphere monitoring, automatic weather stations, ocean buoys and flood warning networks.