From the Newsroom

Grafton radar to be fixed and replaced

Grafton radar to be fixed and replaced

Rodney Stevens

Weather watchers and Clarence Valley residents should see Grafton weather radar images return to normal this week, with plans also revealed to upgrade the ageing infrastructure.

Located at the Grafton Agricultural Research Station, the Grafton Bureau of Meteorology BOM radar, which was installed on January 1, 1998, began not displaying images correctly in the second week of April.

When the CV Independent contacted the Bureau about the problem, a spokesperson said they were aware of the issue and technicians are expected to visit the site this week.

“The Bureau of Meteorology is aware of image quality issues with the Grafton radar,” the spokesperson said.

“The issue is due to a fault with an electrical switch.

“Until this component is replaced there will be some impact to the image quality produced by the radar.

“The Bureau is working to fix the issue as a priority with technicians expected to visit the site next week.”

For more than a decade there have been calls to upgrade the Grafton BOM radar to a high-resolution Doppler radar and a petition was launched requesting the upgrade.

Following inquiries by the CV Independent we can confirm that the Grafton radar will be replaced.

“The Bureau has commenced planning for the replacement of Grafton radar, which will be upgraded to a high-resolution Doppler radar similar to the nearby Brisbane and Namoi radars,” the spokesperson said.
Fortunately, issues with the images generated by the Grafton radar aren’t impacting the Bureau’s forecasts or warnings.

“The Bureau’s weather forecasts, and weather warning service has been designed so that it is resilient and not dependent on any one piece of equipment,” the spokesperson said.
“The Grafton radar is one part of a comprehensive weather observation network of more than 11,000 assets including satellites, upper atmosphere monitoring, automatic weather stations, ocean buoys and flood warning networks.”

The spokesperson said the Bureau has other services the community can access for weather information if the Grafton radar is encountering problems.

The Bureau’s MetEye service provides publicly accessible images showing temperature, rain and wind information for communities, while the Himawari-9 satellite images show cloud cover and lightning strikes.