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Industry News

Mount Stapylton radar switched on and ready for Australia’s storm season

The Mount Stapylton weather radar in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, has been reactivated following the completion of a month-long mid-life upgrade.

The upgrade, which is expected to extend the weather radar’s life for another 10 years, will allow meteorologists to distinguish between rain, hail, ice pellets, bushfire debris and even snowfall. The project is planned for completion ahead of Queensland’s wet season, which usually starts in October and finishes around March, and during which rainfall and thunderstorm activity typically increases.

Bruce Gunn, Queensland state manager for the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, said, “Mount Stapylton was one of four Doppler radars to receive a mid-life upgrade, in addition to radars located in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide.

"The upgrade will extend the radar's operating life by approximately ten years and will include the addition of dual-polarization technology for this first time.

"The dual-polarization technology installed is similar to that trialled in the CP2 research radar previously located at Redbank Plains near Ipswich, which sends out vertically polarized pulses in addition to the standard horizontally polarized pulses.

"This provides a more detailed picture inside weather systems and enhances our forecasters' ability to differentiate frozen from liquid precipitation types, and even bushfire debris.

"It's great to have the radar back online ahead of schedule, as we turn our attention to preparation for the severe weather season characterized by thunderstorms, with hail and localized flooding that is more frequent in early summer in southeast Queensland.

“The dual-polarization radar data will also form a key part of research being undertaken this summer by the University of Queensland, which we hope will assist the bureau to develop improved warning services in the coming years.”

- September 2017

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