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Media Release
The Hon Greg Hunt MP
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage

20 December 2006

QLD Radar to benefit storm forecasting

Australian storm forecasting will benefit from a Bureau of Meteorology research weather radar nearing completion near Redbank Plains in southeast Queensland.

Parliamentary Secretary with ministerial responsibility for the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, Greg Hunt, said the radar is of enormous significance.

"It is the only one of its type in the world," Mr Hunt said.

"It offers unique capabilities to complete weather research and support development of new forecasting techniques for severe weather, aviation and hydrological forecasting purposes.

"It will operate from March 2007 and will also be available for operational forecasting.

"This $2.5 million dual frequency polarimetric weather radar places Australia at the forefront of research in this important area.

"The coverage from the 20-metre tall structure on Mt Juillerat, 9km southeast of Ipswich, is designed to overlap that of the new Doppler weather radar installed at Mt Staplyton."

The CP2 research facility built by the National Center for Atmospheric Research in the USA comprises two radars operating at different frequencies.

By differentiating between rain, hail and various mixtures of ice and water, it improves rainfall estimates within a storm, and detects severe weather threats associated with hail and other phenomena.

The Bureau chose South East Queensland because it was typically affected by 10 severe storms a year, with significant potential for intense rainfall and local flooding in this fast-growing region.

This is a joint project between the Bureau of Meteorology and the US National Center for Atmospheric Research.

More information:

Media Contact:
John Deller (Mr Hunt's Office) on 0400 496 596

Commonwealth of Australia