Mackay community to benefit from major upgrade to weather radar
The Mackay weather radar is being replaced with dual-polarised Doppler radar technology.
From 1 June 2023, subject to any unforeseen delays, the Bureau of Meteorology will start works to replace the Mackay weather radar with dual-polarised Doppler radar technology.
The old radar will be switched off at this time, to allow the new tower and radome to be installed. During the upgrade, the radar will be offline for approximately 6 months.
The upgraded radar, located at Mount Bassett, Mackay Harbour, will provide the local community and industry with more reliable and up-to-date weather information.
The new technology will make Mackay a more reliable weather radar and provide equivalent image quality to Queensland's new Greenvale and Richmond radars.
The Bureau's Chief Customer Officer, Dr Peter Stone, explained that the radar needs to go offline for technicians to install the new Doppler radar. Once completed it will serve the community, emergency services and local industry with its real-time observation technology.
“The Bureau is undertaking significant work to improve Queensland radar infrastructure. This includes a replacement radar that will be installed at Mackay and the upgrade of the Cairns radar. We are working with our customers to minimise disruption and we appreciate the community's patience as we install the new radar," Dr Stone said.
Anyone seeking situational awareness of rain can use alternative sources including the Gladstone, Bowen and Emerald radars, which provide some overlapping coverage for the region.
The Bureau’s MetEye service also provides publicly accessible images showing temperature, rain and wind information. The community can also access satellite images from the Himawari-8 satellite on the Bureau’s website, showing cloud cover and lightning strikes.
There will be no impact to the Bureau’s forecasts and warnings, which are informed by observations from a range of assets including satellites, upper atmosphere monitoring and automatic weather stations.
During the planned outage period, up-to-date forecasts and warnings will continue to be published on the Bureau’s website and the BOM Weather app. These projects are part of the Bureau's ongoing work to enhance and improve the Australian radar and observation network. We are delivering 8 new radars, plus upgrades to 46 radars, almost 700 automatic weather stations and 384 flood warning network assets across the country.