Information: Cairns weather radar outage for upgrade works

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    Closed advisory
    Start 19/05/2023
    AEST 09:00
    End 21/07/2023
    AEST 17:00

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    Cathy  Kingston
    Bureau of Meteorology

    Advising members of an upgrade to the Cairns (Saddle Mountain) weather radar, and outage of this radar whilst upgrade works are completed.


    The Cairns weather radar, located at Saddle Mountain on the MacAlister Range, is set to undergo a significant upgrade. From 22 May 2023, subject to any unforeseen delays, the Bureau of Meteorology (Bureau) will commence installation of a new digital receiver and control system for the Cairns weather radar.

    During the upgrade the radar will be offline for up to 8 weeks. There will be no impact to the Bureau's standard aviation forecasts and warnings, which are informed by observations from a range of assets including satellites, upper atmosphere monitoring and automatic weather stations.

    During the outage period, those seeking situational awareness of weather can use a range of alternative sources:

    • The Bureau's MetEye service provides publicly accessible images showing temperature, rain and wind information.
    • There is also access to satellite images from the Himawari-8 satellite. These images are available from the Bureau's website and show cloud cover and lightning strikes.

    The Greenvale and Townsville radars provide nearby coverage for the region and can be accessed on the Bureau's website and BOM Weather app.  The upgraded radar system will provide improved services to Far North Queensland communities, aviation, emergency services, tourism and maritime safety. The benefits will include:

    • improved severe storm prediction and cyclone forecasting.
    • increased accuracy and reliability of the radar under severe weather conditions.

    Submitted by

    Cathy Kingston
    Bureau of Meteorology