Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology

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COVID-19 restrictions and floods delay delivery of Taroom weather radar


Issued: Tuesday 1 March 2022

Flooding events during January and the impacts of COVID-19 have delayed the delivery of the new Taroom region weather radar.

While work on the radar is progressing well, its completion date and go live is now expected in April 2022.

The Bureau of Meteorology's Chief Customer Officer, Dr Peter Stone, said the weather radar's construction was a priority and the Bureau was working hard on its delivery.

"The Bureau understands the critical role that radars play in providing communities, particularly primary producers, with situational awareness of current weather," he said.

The project timeline has been impacted by COVID-related travel restrictions and contractor availability, and the site, which is located 12 km south-east of Taroom, was affected by two weeks of rain and flooding, which halted works at the site in January.

"These delays have pushed the delivery timeline out by two months, from February to April but we are back on site, the tower has been installed and we are working as rapidly as possible to ensure the radar is delivered as soon as possible."

When it goes live on the Bureau's website and BOM Weather app, the Taroom radar will draw on dual-polarised Doppler technology, which is one of the best tools for observing real-time rainfall and wind conditions across large areas.

The radar will provide improved coverage across the Fitzroy, Condamine and Burnett River catchments, benefitting communities in Woorabinda, Baralaba, Moura and Biloela to the north, Mundubbera and Gayndaha to the east, Miles, Surat, Tara and Chinchillato the south, and Injune and Roma to the west.

In the meantime, local communities, emergency services and industry can continue to draw on alternative information for Taroom and Queensland including warnings and forecasts on the Bureau’s website and BOM Weather app and via MetEye.

The Taroom radar is part of the most significant upgrade of Australia's radar and observation network in a generation. By June 2024, the Bureau of Meteorology will deliver eight new radars, plus upgrades to 46 radars, nearly 700 automatic weather stations and 200 flood warning network assets.

This is one of four new radars being delivered in Queensland, with $77.2 million funding from the Australian Government. The existing radar in Moree (New South Wales) will also be relocated to provide increased coverage into southern Queensland.

For more information contact 03 9669 4057.