• Hannah Phillips

Rainbow Region Home to New Wimmera Weather Radar

The Bureau of Meteorology have today announced the highly anticipated Wimmera Weather Radar will be built on a private property, 10km south of Flow region Rainbow.

This has been an ongoing project for people living within the area, as state and federal funding was committed over two and a half years ago.

The Bureau of Meteorology's (BOM) Victorian State Manager, Dr Andrew Tupper, said a number of groups have been involved with the process. "The Australian Government, through the Bureau of Meteorology and the Victorian Government, represented by the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources, have been working closely with the Wimmera Development Association on this important infrastructure project for the region. "As the radar is such a significant project, it has been vital for all parties to get the details right to ensure that it provides the maximum benefit, particularly for the region's primary producers who depend so much on accurate rainfall forecasts," he said. "The data available through the radar will help growers to make informed choices about harvesting, tillage and the use of chemicals and fertilisers."

Image Source: BOM - 1: Artist's impression of the weather radar at its site near Rainbow. 2: Map showing the approximate radar coverage area.

Federal Member for Mallee Andrew Broad has been among those lobbying to get the weather radar built, and released the following statement earlier today.

My apologies that I cannot be with you in person today, as it is a very exciting day across the Wimmera and one we have been looking forward to for quite some time.

This region, and both Federal and State Government bodies, including myself have been lobbying for real time weather data for the Wimmera for a long time now and after securing the funding it has been quite an effort to get to where we are today.

However…we are finally here! It’s fantastic to have the Bureau in Horsham today to officially announce the site of the Wimmera Weather Radar.

I would like to thank them for all of their continued hard work on this project, and also apologise for my constant pestering, I know I’ve met with them twice recently in Melbourne and I’m sure the state has been the same pushing hard to get an announcement too.

For farmers across the Wimmera, this weather radar is absolutely priceless. It will allow farmers to make informed on-farm decisions to achieve the best possible outcomes on their properties – it doesn’t get much more accurate than real time weather data on your doorstep.

I am excited to see the radar go up in our rural community and I look forward to plenty of rain in the forecast next season.

The radar will also provide enhanced short-term rainfall forecasts and additional information to Bureau of Meteorology experts during severe weather events. The dual polarised doppler radar is now under construction in Germany and is expected to be operational by mid-2020, if not earlier.

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