Wimmera weather radar location finally announced
The location of the highly anticipated Wimmera Weather Radar has finally been announced, more than two years after funding was first announced.
The site chosen is near the Wimmera town of Rainbow, 105km north of Horsham, and was decided on after an extensive and detailed process to find a location to best suit the region and the wider Australian weather radar network.
The state-of-the-art dual polarised doppler radar - which will be known as the Rainbow Radar - is currently being constructed in Germany and is due to begin operating in mid-2020, if not sooner.
The Bureau of Meteorology's Victorian State Manager, Dr Andrew Tupper, said getting the project to this stage has been the result of great cooperation between the local community and the Victorian State government.
"The Australian Government, through the Bureau of Meteorology, and the Victorian Government, represented by the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources, have been working closely with the Wimmera Development Association on this important infrastructure project for the region," Dr Tupper said.
"As the radar is such a significant project, it has been vital for all parties to get the details right to ensure that it provides the maximum benefit, particularly for the region's primary producers who depend so much on accurate rainfall forecasts.
"The data available through the radar will help growers to make informed choices about harvesting, tillage and the use of chemicals and fertilisers."
The Victorian Government contributed $5-million to build the station and the Federal Government $3.2-million for operation and maintenance.
Federal Member for Mallee Andrew Broad said this is a very exciting day across the Wimmera and one we have been looking forward to for quite some time.
"This region, and both Federal and State Government bodies, including myself have been lobbying for real time weather data for the Wimmera for a long time now and after securing the funding it has been quite an effort to get to where we are now," Mr Broad said.
"For farmers across the Wimmera, this weather radar is absolutely priceless.
"It will allow farmers to make informed on-farm decisions to achieve the best possible outcomes on their properties – it doesn’t get much more accurate than real time weather data on your doorstep."
Other benefits of the radar include enhanced short-term rainfall forecasts and the provision of additional information to Bureau of Meteorology experts during severe weather events.
Dual polarised doppler radars provide one of the best tools for observing real-time rainfall, storms and even debris in the atmosphere, across large areas.
Radars use electromagnetic waves similar to wireless computer networks and mobile phones to detect rain drops, hail or snow; Doppler radars can also measure wind by detecting the speed of movement of the water that they encounter.