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Darwin 256km Radar/Lightning

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Bureau of Meteorology Weather Radar

Lightning Data Upgrade - NEW

Lightning Events

lightning Lightning strikes are displayed as crosses (ground events) or squares (cloud events) and fade from white (current) to red (30 minutes ago) to blue (60 minutes ago).

In December 2014 we upgraded our lightning network to the latest in sensor technology as used by the world's leading meteorological agencies. This has resulted in changes and improvements to the lightning data you will now see. The main changes are:

  • Much better detection of cloud to cloud strikes. Our upgraded network detects more CC strikes and better reflects research that shows typical storm cells produce approximately 75% cloud strikes and 25% ground strikes.
  • We have modified the display to show cloud to cloud strikes in smaller boxes and ground strikes above as "+" symbols. Temporal colouring remains the same.
  • Greater network coverage right across the country.

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About Weatherzone Radar

distance measuring Distance and latitude/longitude coordinates are displayed when you mouse over the map. The origin for distance measuring is indicated by a red dot and defaults to either your location, if specified and in range, or the location of the radar/the centre of the map. The origin may be changed by clicking elsewhere on the map.

The colours and symbols used on the radar and satellite maps are described on our legend page. View legend »

Lightning data supplied by GPATS

Radar Details

Darwin/Berrimah Weather Watch Radar
Northern Territory
12.4570°S  130.9250°E  51m AMSL

LocationSE of Darwin Airport Radar TypeWSR 74 C Band Typical Availability24 hours

The Berrimah radar is located on a rise with the dish antenna tower mounted approximately 50 metres above the surrounding topography. It has a good coverage in all directions up to a range of 250 km with the following two exceptions: (a) some local masking of echoes at low elevations to the east; (b) some signal blockage to the north-northeast due to several HF transmitter towers. Heavy rain over the radar site will cause attenuation of all signals. Path attenuation also occurs when the radar beam passes through an intense thunderstorm cell; the returned signal from cells further along that path will be reduced. Because the beam width of this particular radar is only 0.9 degrees, it may 'undershoot' high level storms and rain echoes may appear less intense than actual rainfall rate. During the dry season from May to September, when low level atmospheric temperature inversions are more prevalent, images may display areas of relatively strong (Level 2 or 3) permanent echoes. These tend to be reflections from coastal features; commonly from Gunn Point and the Cobourg Peninsular northeast of the radar, and from the nearside coastline of the Tiwi Islands to the north. Also during this time of the year, a false image of the Timor coastline may sometimes be seen extending northwest from Bathurst Island. This phenomenon is due to second skip returns at multiples of the radar's maximum range.

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