Issued: Thursday 10 November 2022
Northern Queensland communities will now have access to more reliable and up-to-date weather information with the completion of the Willis Island weather radar upgrade.
The remote Willis Island sits 450 km off the coast of Cairns and the island’s weather radar has been offline since 12 September 2022 to allow for the installation of a new digital receiver and control system.
Images from the newly upgraded weather radar are now live on the Bureau of Meteorology’s website.
The upgrade to the weather radar includes benefits such as new capabilities of Doppler technology to track the location and strength of wind changes.
The Bureau’s Group Executive Community Services Piero Chessa said the more precise data will assist the tracking of rain, wind, storms and severe weather in the region.
“Emergency services, aviation and resources, defence, marine safety and the local community will benefit from clearer images and improved radar stability provided by the new digital receiver and control system,” Mr Chessa said.
“Other benefits include improved severe storm monitoring and alerting, by detecting weather systems such as cyclones and increased accuracy and reliability of the radar,” he said.
The Willis Island weather station 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.
This weather radar upgrade is part of the Bureau of Meteorology’s ongoing work to enhance and improve the Australian radar and observation network.