Real time rainfall and wind data will now be available to farmers in a 256 kilometre radius from Watheroo with the launch of the state’s latest Doppler radar on June 8. An initiative of the Nationals WA made possible with $23 million Royalties for Regions funding, the Watheroo Doppler will complement Doppler radars already operational at Newdegate and South Doodlakine giving coverage to the state’s grain growing area.
The weather monitoring service in Geraldton will be upgraded to Doppler radar capability, with the service due to be operational in April 2019. Member for Moore Shane Love MLA said the three radar sites combined with the Department of Agriculture & Food WA’s (DAFWA) 175 weather stations — also funded by Royalties for Regions — would provide farmers with comprehensive wind and rain data that is updated every six minutes on the DAFWA and Bureau of
Meteorology websites. “Information can be localised to a paddock perspective and will help with decision making around the application of spray and fertiliser,” he added. “This real-time data will also prove useful for emergency service responses and to the aviation industry. Mr Love said earlier research
had established that expansion of BoM’s Doppler radar coverage would deliver more than $100 million in benefit to farmers in the WA grainbelt over a 20 year
period. “This research found that the more timely application of spray would deliver a six-fold benefit to farmers, for every dollar invested in Doppler radar,” he added. “This is Royalties for Regions funding that has been wisely spent in response to a very real need.”
The weather monitoring service in Geraldton is to be upgraded to Doppler radar capability, with the service due to be operational in April 2019.