Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology

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New weather radar brings increased coverage to Toowoomba and surrounds


Issued: 18 April 2024

Images from the new Toowoomba weather radar, in the Darling Downs region of Queensland, are now live on the Bureau of Meteorology's website and the BOM Weather app.

The Bureau of Meteorology’s Senior Responsible Officer for Queensland, Dr Peter Stone, said that the new radar will add coverage to current radar gaps to the west and south-west of Toowoomba.

“This includes the northern parts of the Moonie and Border rivers catchments, the upper Condamine River catchment, and the mining and resources precinct around Chinchilla”, Dr Stone said.

This new Toowoomba radar 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 as these events unfold.

The community, emergency services and local industry such as agriculture, transport and tourism, will benefit from the latest radar technology that will:

  • enable industries and businesses to make better decisions when preparing for severe weather
  • help farming businesses make timely decisions, such as movement of stock, chemical and fertiliser application, sowing and harvesting
  • increase forecast accuracy every year.

Dr Stone that the new radar benefits the local area by providing access to real-time rainfall observations for agriculture and industry.

This includes:

  • dryland and irrigated agriculture in the upper Moonie River, Border rivers and Condamine-Culgoa River catchments
    power station operations near Chinchilla
  • critical transport links to the west of Toowoomba including the Warrego Highway and South-West Railway Corridor
    Wellcamp Airport and local aviation emergency operators.

“The new radar will enable improved flood forecasting and better planning during severe weather event for the travel industry and Condamine, Moonie and Border Rivers catchment communities”, Dr Stone said.

Weather radars play an important role in providing situational awareness to local communities. While radars are important tools, the Bureau's forecast and weather warning service is resilient and not dependent on any one piece of equipment.

The new Toowoomba radar is last of 4 new radars built in Queensland as part of a $77.2 million commitment by the Australian Government. The Richmond, Greenvale and Taroom radars were completed between 2021 and 2022.

In 2023 the Bureau of Meteorology has undertaken significant work to improve Queensland radar infrastructure. In addition to the new Toowoomba weather radar, the Bureau has upgraded the Brisbane (Marburg), Cairns and Mackay weather radars.

The Toowoomba 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.

These projects are part of the Bureau's ongoing work to enhance and improve the Australian radar and observation network.