Upgrade To Townsville Radar To Commence


Issued: 14 March 2024

The Townsville radar is set to undergo a significant upgrade which will see the existing radar, located at Hervey Range, 25 kilometres west-south-west of Townsville, replaced with modern and reliable dual-polarised Doppler radar technology.

The upgrade will see a new radar tower, radome (This is to complete the installation of the radome and equipment shelter constructed.

The new technology will improve the reliability of the Townsville radar, providing image quality equivalent to the new Greenvale and Richmond weather radars.

From today, Thursday 14 March 2024, a small section of the radar beam will be switched off to the north-west and the new radar tower. This prevents reflections from the new radar tower damaging the old radar.

During the installation of the new radar, the old Townsville radar will be switched off from 4:30am to 8:00pm AEST from Sunday 16 to Thursday 20 March 2024.

A second outage is planned in April 2024, for up to 6 weeks. This is to complete the installation of the radome (antenna covering).

In the event of severe weather, construction will stop, and the existing radar will be temporarily returned to service.

The Bureau’s Chief Customer Officer, Dr Peter Stone, said that the radar needs to go offline for technicians to install the new Doppler radar. Once completed it will serve the community, emergency services and local industry with its real-time observation technology.

“The Bureau is undertaking significant work to improve Queensland radar infrastructure. This includes a replacement radar that will be installed at the Townsville radar site. We are working with our customers to minimise disruption and we appreciate the community’s patience as we install the new radar,” Dr Stone said

Subject to any unforeseen delays, the upgrade is expected to be complete by mid-2024.

There will be no impact to the Bureau’s forecasts and warnings, which are informed by observations from a range of assets including satellites, upper atmosphere monitoring and automatic weather stations.

During the outage period, additional situational awareness of rain can be accessed by range of alternative sources:

– The Greenvale and Bowen radars provide some overlapping coverage for the region and can be accessed on the Bureau’s website and BOM Weather app.

– The Bureau’s MetEye service provides publicly accessible images showing temperature, rain and wind information.

– The community can also access satellite images from the Himawari-9 satellite. These images are available from the Bureau’s website and show cloud cover and lightning strikes.

Up-to-date forecasts, observations and warnings will continue to be published on the Bureau’s website bom.gov.au and on the BOM Weather app.

/Bureau of Meteorology Public Release. View in full here.