The Hon Sussan Ley MP, Minister for the Environment
The Hon Melissa Price, Member for Durack
From Monday, 12 July the Bureau of Meteorology will commence installation of a new digital receiver and control system for Broome, meaning the weather radar will be offline for up to eight weeks.
The upgrade has been planned to coincide with the Kimberley's dry season to ensure the least disruption to the community.
Minister for the Environment, Sussan Ley, said the radar is expected to be back online in early September, well in advance of the November wet season.
"Warnings and forecasts will continue to be published on the Bureau's website www.bom.gov.au and on the BOM Weather app, as forecasters draw on a wide range of sources to inform their predictions," said Minister Ley.
"During that period, I encourage the community to become familiar with the Bureau's range of alternative sources to find their local weather information."
Member for Durack Melissa Price said that during the upgrade the people of the Kimberley would still have access to the latest weather information.
'We want to ensure the community of Broome and surrounds have the best infrastructure possible to help plan their lives and to inform key business decisions,” Ms Price said.
"The upgraded radar will provide more information to assist emergency services especially during bushfire seasons and the detection of fire-generated thunderstorms and determining the height of fire plumes.
“During the upgrade people can still access images showing temperature, rain and wind information through the Bureau's publicly accessible MetEye service.
“Satellite images are also available from the Himawari-8 satellite and from the Bureau's website which show cloud cover and lightning strikes.
"If members of the community would like help locating the weather information, I recommend they email the Bureau's Weather Connect team on firstname.lastname@example.org.”
The Broome radar is one part of a complex weather observation network of around 11,000 assets including satellites, automatic weather stations and flood warning networks.
The Broome radar project is part of the most significant upgrade of Australia's radar and observation network in a generation.
If the current uncertainties regarding COVID-19 restrictions and border closures prevent Bureau staff from attending the site, timings for the upgrade may be impacted.