Real-time weather observations to protect lives

Published: 25 Feb 2019

Emergency services, farmers and residents in western NSW will soon have access to real-time rain and wind information.

The NSW Government has committed $24.4 million to construct and operate three new Doppler radars, which will deliver real-time weather observations for 30 per cent of the state.

The Doppler radars will be installed near Parkes, Brewarrina and Hillston-Ivanhoe, and should be operational by 2022.

Doppler radars can measure the direction and speed of rain and moisture in the atmosphere up to 200 kilometres away.

Doppler radars provide:

  • accurate rainfall forecasts, accumulated rainfall records and stored soil moisture levels, which can benefit producers who need to make informed decisions about when to plant or harvest crops
  • the ability to track the location and strength of wind changes, which can benefit aviation, detection of plague locust migrations, firefighting and other emergency services
  • accurate rainfall rates, which can benefit emergency services during flood warning operations.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro said the radars will deliver real-time weather information for 170,000 residents across 34 local government areas in western NSW.

“These new Doppler radars will reveal wind and rain activity across almost 321,000 square kilometres, providing the real-time information [that] western NSW farmers and graziers need to make business decisions about when to sow, harvest or move stock,” Mr Barilaro said.

“This $24.4 million NSW Government investment will give farmers instant access to accurate information to make quick, critical choices and adapt plans to boost productivity, minimise risk and save money.”

Minister for Primary Industries Niall Blair said Doppler radar coverage will also help emergency services better anticipate and respond to fires and flooding.

“Doppler radar data will give residents and businesses vital information in the face of such natural disasters, and help emergency services anticipate areas that will likely suffer impacts and ensure resources are in place to respond,” Mr Blair said.

Learn more about the new Doppler radar weather stations

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