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Joint Media release
Greg Hunt MP
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Federal Member for Flinders
&
David Fawcett MP
Federal Member for Wakefield

23 March 2006

Adelaide's new generation weather radar delivering on World Meteorology Day


The launch of Adelaide's new generation weather radar at Buckland Park last October has ensured that Adelaide is leading Australia in meteorology technology on World Meteorology Day, according to Hon. Greg Hunt Parliamentary Secretary with Ministerial Responsibility for the Australian Bureau of Meteorology and the Federal Member for Wakefield, David Fawcett MP.

"World Meteorology Day is celebrated on March 23rd each year by the 187 member countries of the World Meteorological Organisation - a special agency of the United Nations.

"The theme of this year's World Meteorological Day is Preventing and Mitigating Natural Disasters," Mr Hunt said.

"It is appropriate to recognise, on World Meteorology Day, that the Australian Bureau of Meteorology is considered among one of the best meteorological agencies in the world for preventing natural disasters due using up to the minute technology that predicts severe weather events as early as possible."

"The Buckland Park new generation weather radar is an example of such technology that puts Australia, and Adelaide in particular, ahead of the rest of the world in weather infrastructure."

"I congratulate David Fawcett for his commitment to ensuring Adelaide has the best available meteorological infrastructure."

Federal Member for Wakefield David Fawcett said the radar had immensely improved weather services in Adelaide.

"The installation of the radar last October proved very timely for forecasters tackling the major floods on 8 November and 24 February," Mr Fawcett said.

"These floods-'major event' baptisms for the new high-resolution technology-confirmed its promise of supporting more accurate and timely short term forecasts and warnings of severe weather."

"In each case the radar accurately depicted the areas of heaviest rainfall."

"The radar is ideally positioned to monitor weather across Adelaide and the Mount Lofty Ranges and has an excellent view of the Central, Mid North, Yorke Peninsula, Eastern Eyre Peninsula and Murray regions of South Australia"

Mr Fawcett said since its installation last year the weather radar has become an invaluable tool in meteorological research.

"The Australian Bureau of Meteorology is using the radar to continue research into improved techniques for assessing rainfall intensity that will lead to more accurate short-term forecasts of heavy rain and flash flooding, " Mr Fawcett said.

"The radar is also being used to research better monitoring of rainfall across the Adelaide river catchments for use in river flood warning operations and water management and also to gather more accurate wind tracking data that will assist not only fire and emergency services but mariners and aviators."

The Doppler capability of the radar allows forecasters to analyse wind flows, and thus identify sea breezes, cold fronts and potentially damaging wind circulations. The Adelaide radar rainfall data-four times the resolution of conventional weather radars-is easily available on the Bureau's web site, www.bom.gov.au, where radar images are updated every ten minutes.

The high resolution Doppler radar was installed on the northern outskirts of Adelaide as part of the Federal Government's five-year $62 million radar upgrade project.

Media may arrange to see a selection of dramatic Doppler highlights around Adelaide by calling (08) 8366 2640

Media Contact:
Kristy McSweeney (Mr Hunt's Office) 0415 740 722
Karen Petney 0412 154 086 or 08 8523 0555 (Mr Fawcett's Office)

Commonwealth of Australia