Weather News

Weather radar stations for western NSW 'game changers' for farmers

By Jen McCutcheon, Thursday July 9, 2020 - 09:08 EST
ABC licensed image
New weather radars will boost farm efficiency by providing much-needed data. - ABC licensed

Three new weather stations in the western region of New South Wales have been labelled as "game changers" by farmers.



Work has started on a new weather station in Brewarrina, which will provide more detailed forecasts.

The other two will be based at Parkes and in the Hillston-Ivanhoe area, and each will cover an area of about 200 square kilometres.

"At the moment there is a significant gap where western NSW communities have had limited access to real-time weather information, but I am thrilled that work has now begun to build this critical infrastructure," said Deputy Premier John Barilaro.

"The radars will be able to detect raindrops, hail, bushfire plumes, rain intensity, and wind velocity — vastly improving real-time weather services for the community.

"The radars will boost business efficiency by providing rainfall data as well as wind observations to primary producers and regional communities, providing critical information for producers to base farm management decisions on."



Susie Rae and her husband, who run a property near Narromine, said weather forecasts were hit and miss because of a lack of data.

"We rely on the weather. We are big gamblers," she said.

"We watch the weather every day and for as long as I can remember there's a big blank spot in the west.

"There's literally a line when we look at the radar of a part that just doesn't even exist."



New data online in time for harvest

Minister for Agriculture and Western NSW Adam Marshall said the Brewarrina Doppler radar would be operational by October.

"These radars will be a game changer; providing greater accuracy in measuring where water particles are in the sky, how fast they are moving and the potential power of an incoming storm," he said.

Experts will be able to pass on vital weather observations from up to 200km away, including towns as far as Cobar, Pilliga and over the Queensland border."

Ms Rae said that would be critical for this year's harvest; the first after three years of drought.

"We are in 2020.We need way more accurate weather, so we are really pleased that this is happening," she said.

"If this is finished by harvest that will be crucial and if we can see what storms are coming, it will help with everything."


- ABC

© ABC 2020

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