Much Ado About March 2014

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Re: Much Ado About March 2014

Postby chartphred » Sat Mar 29, 2014 7:49 am

Fu Manchu wrote:Some recent chatter about the effectiveness of the Serpentine Radar. Not sure how or why this is starting but I sense it may be due to a lack of understanding about the recent atmospheric conditions that robbed WA of the rain it deserves from TC Gillian.
The recent event saw rainfall show on radar but it wasn't reaching the ground due to a dry NE flow prior to the event and dry air evaporating the precip.
The radar was working fine.

Those complaining about outages need not because for those who have been around Perth a while, you will recall the old radar was out a hell of a lot more than the current one. further more no one other than the technicians and BoM managers will know what the causes were. What if the causes were not directly related to the asset itself?

Then the old Doppler comments have been flying about again and really for what its worth, we stand to gain little from it's installation. I feel that there are a few that view these as a new toy for storm chasing and that we should have one because the East has loads.
That's a lot of coin to shell out of tax payers money to satisfy the self interests of the very few.

So here is a bit of info about the WA radar network:
http://www.bom.gov.au/australia/radar/i ... info.shtml

Serpentine radar site:
http://www.bom.gov.au/australia/radar/i ... rpentine70

Comparison between the old radar and the serpentine radar:
viewtopic.php?f=27&t=1820&hilit=serpentine+radar
http://www.bom.gov.au/australia/radar/f ... dars.shtml

WeatherZone wrote:PERTH (SERPENTINE) WEATHER WATCH RADAR
Western Australia
32.3917°S 115.8670°E 40m AMSL
LocationSerpentine Airfield (Yangedi Rd North, Hopelands)Radar TypeEEC TVDR2500C C Band, 5 centimetre wavelengthTypical Availability24 hours
Perth (Serpentine) Weather Watch radar has good coverage in all directions. Intense thunderstorm or cold fronts can be seen up to 250 kilometres away, however at this distance the radar is sensing the structure of the system well above the ground and may give a misleading view of the actual surface rainfall intensity of the system. The radar is susceptible to anomalous propagation (AP) for distances up to 60 kilometres along the coastline and seaward of it. The AP appears as an area of low intensity echoes. A local phenomenon which has been observed occasionally is that of false mirror echoes approaching the radar from the southeast as an intense cold front approaches from the south west. Heavy rain directly over the radar site can cause attenuation of all signals. Path attenuation can also occur when the radar beam passes through intense rainfall, with the returned signals from cells further along that path reduced.


Fu, you make some valid and strong points about the comparative radar signals between the old and new. Yes you're right the newer doppler radar may be a bit of a "Toy..." but that doesnt take away the fact that the bias towards the Eastern States and the significant number rolled out over there with WA yet to benefit is pretty appalling. We have a few gaps in our coverage to fill I suspect? I do remember someone on this forum mentioning that the BOM was intending to replace the radar with a new Doppler by Christmas? Whats happened to that? very curious to know.
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Re: Much Ado About March 2014

Postby Tasman » Sat Mar 29, 2014 4:49 pm

Whoa, just had some rain :shock:

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Re: Much Ado About March 2014

Postby Fu Manchu » Sat Mar 29, 2014 4:52 pm

Born again #Perth rain virgins unite!
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Much Ado About March 2014

Postby Fu Manchu » Sat Mar 29, 2014 4:59 pm

Chatphred, I don't mean to take away from the importance of Doppler. My point is that there are extensive holes/gaps (as you mention) in the WA radar network. I would rather see more radars to fill those gaps in economically important regions like goldfields, Pilbara, and wheatbelt before more is spent on a Doppler for the SW.

It seems there is less funding for WA services.

With delays in Doppler installations in the SW, one can only deduce further restrictions to BoMs budgets.
If we look back to the thread on the Serpentine radar that dragged on for years, so I wouldn't be holding my breath for a Doppler going in too soon. If it does then there's a bonus.


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Re: Much Ado About March 2014

Postby chartphred » Sat Mar 29, 2014 5:27 pm

Couldn't agree more Fu. I'll blame the Libs (for the lack of funding) - they're an easy target! :mrgreen:
(Its certainly not the fault of BOM - I'm sure its political).
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Re: Much Ado About March 2014

Postby Fu Manchu » Sat Mar 29, 2014 6:31 pm

I tend not to take sides in politics because... well because.
We also saw difficult budgets under the previous Government as well.
Hopefully the ads can pay for a more comprehensive radar network in WA.

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Re: Much Ado About March 2014

Postby Fu Manchu » Sat Mar 29, 2014 6:33 pm

Today's cold front and trough activity in SW WA can be seen and looks good.
http://realtime2.bsch.au.com/vis_sat2.h ... &stop=#nav

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Re: Much Ado About March 2014

Postby Fu Manchu » Sat Mar 29, 2014 6:36 pm

Staring at this water vapour image is like staring into the eyes of Kaa.
http://realtime2.bsch.au.com/wv_sat.htm ... art=&stop=

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Re: Much Ado About March 2014

Postby Fu Manchu » Sat Mar 29, 2014 6:40 pm

One of our twitter followers says the frogs are leaving the pond after the rain.

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Re: Much Ado About March 2014

Postby Fu Manchu » Sat Mar 29, 2014 6:45 pm

6mm in the gauge last I looked. Ooooo

Looking nice and mild in the next few days :)
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Re: Much Ado About March 2014

Postby Benni.G. » Sat Mar 29, 2014 6:52 pm

My parents report 8 mm for Mahogany Creek, so I guess the drought is broken ? Enough to flush the dust in the pipes for the rain water tanks I'd say

I like the ob's for Rolling Green, would make a good spot for a wind farm :lol:
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Re: Much Ado About March 2014

Postby Lert » Sun Mar 30, 2014 8:56 am

8.5mm at my place which is more than I thought I would get judging by the radar..
2006 - 543.5mm, 2007 - 701.5mm, 2008 - 833.5mm, 2009 - 579mm, 2010 - 631.5mm, 2011 - 872.5mm, 2012 - 770mm

2013 Jan 5mm YTD 5mm

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Re: Much Ado About March 2014

Postby rothki » Sun Mar 30, 2014 9:33 pm

yes i still think there is something seriously wrong with the radar, continuous drizzle in victoria park yet nothing on the radar. how hopeless. i really think that the BOM needs some serious re-assessing. their forecasts are horribly inaccurate, and their radar is shit. i don't care what is happening 2km above me, i want to know what is hitting the ground, and it doesn't help their forecasts either.

i wish they were paid by what they got correct in their forecasts - how can you forecast something and it be wrong? like the hail storm years ago. grr makes me angry

- end rant!

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Re: Much Ado About March 2014

Postby Pete » Mon Mar 31, 2014 10:32 am

rothki wrote:yes i still think there is something seriously wrong with the radar, continuous drizzle in victoria park yet nothing on the radar. how hopeless. i really think that the BOM needs some serious re-assessing. their forecasts are horribly inaccurate, and their radar is shit. i don't care what is happening 2km above me, i want to know what is hitting the ground, and it doesn't help their forecasts either.

i wish they were paid by what they got correct in their forecasts - how can you forecast something and it be wrong? like the hail storm years ago. grr makes me angry

- end rant!


If you're referring to the March 2010 hail storm, how did they go wrong there? The storms were forecast days in days in advance, and they said storms would be severe the night before. The first warning came out about 10am that morning for severe thunderstorms.. they didn't get anything wrong.

Also you should probably know that the BoM can't do anything without going through the government and political bullshit. They need funding before they can go ahead and build a better radar or improve a warning system ect.

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Re: Much Ado About March 2014

Postby brayden » Mon Mar 31, 2014 11:46 am

Thankyou Pete :)

As I'm working for BOM I can't say much :-s :lol:
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Re: Much Ado About March 2014

Postby thunderbox » Mon Mar 31, 2014 12:07 pm

Madam Whiplash the Fortune Teller is available for those that are disatisfied with Bom. Or You could try some Vasseline and rub with a rapid vigerous motion-- 10 times a Day.

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Re: Much Ado About March 2014

Postby chartphred » Mon Mar 31, 2014 12:26 pm

brayden wrote:Thankyou Pete :)

As I'm working for BOM I can't say much :-s :lol:


The smilies say it all!
Like I mentioned before... its all politics and not much point in getting into a discussion about that here - vote at the ballot box (April 5) (-|
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Re: Much Ado About March 2014

Postby chartphred » Mon Mar 31, 2014 12:27 pm

thunderbox wrote:Madam Whiplash the Fortune Teller is available for those that are disatisfied with Bom. Or You could try some Vasseline and rub with a rapid vigerous motion-- 10 times a Day.


Thunderbox... you got a belly laugh outa me with that one! Very good! :mrgreen:
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Re: Much Ado About March 2014

Postby rothki » Mon Mar 31, 2014 6:54 pm

Pete wrote:
If you're referring to the March 2010 hail storm, how did they go wrong there? The storms were forecast days in days in advance, and they said storms would be severe the night before. The first warning came out about 10am that morning for severe thunderstorms.. they didn't get anything wrong.

Also you should probably know that the BoM can't do anything without going through the government and political bullshit. They need funding before they can go ahead and build a better radar or improve a warning system ect.


I don't think the storms were forecast days in advance. intact i remember going into work, checking the weather and it was forecast for a fine day. at about 11-12am the forecast changed to thunderstorms. and the number of times thunderstorms are forecasted and they don't happen - too often.

It is nothing to do with funding, that is just an excuse. the forecasters have a job to do. if they get it wrong they didn't do it correct, or they shouldn't advertise they can do it.

If your mechanic said i can service your car, then you got it back and it hadn't been done and he said to you "I'm sorry i don't have enough funding to do a proper job, but you still have to pay me" what would you say?

anyway i do apologise if i have offended anyone here, all in good fun :)

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Re: Much Ado About March 2014

Postby Fu Manchu » Mon Mar 31, 2014 7:11 pm

On March22nd forecasts and warnings were largely ignored. This was filmed hours before it reached Perth by Brayden. BoM knew what was out there. (Thanks to the storm spotters network)
http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=OgItQiWettk

I told people first hand at work about the warnings and severity and they went ignored. So I tended to my own property instead.

The forecasts to me are very accurate. However here is the problem and challenge that BoM are tackling. How to get extremely technical information out in a format everyone can understand.
Part of the compromise on that is that detail is not really possible in a simple format. It's difficult.
Misunderstanding forecasts happens often.
Today, showers were expected but not certain. Conditions were conducive to light scattered showers early on. That occurred.

Perth is a very large city of around 5500km2. Weather can be remarkably different within that area. Different geography too. Different vegetation.
They know where the dart board is but until the moment of the throw, where exactly the dart lands is not going to be known.
Giving certainty to nature is like putting a square peg in a round hole.

Passing front tonight may or may not deliver more light showers. The chance is there. If they don't occur, it's ok. They will occur nearby.

A forecast for Perth CBD will be different to conditions felt at Swanbourne or Midland in many cases. The new forecasts include regional centres within the metro area.
Meteye is something that should be used more by the public because it delivers information in a graphical sense.
Also many weather apps and websites do not offer or use official BoM info but that of international forecast systems or they emanate from amateurs masked as professional meteorologists.

BoM have very restraining budgets. They take their own pens to work and by their own staplers (May be an exaggerated point) I know in the gov dept I work in that it's compromise on compromise on compromise on compromise as funds are eternally thinned.
Officials have to stand up and say positive things, then go into a room and scream or bang head in private frustration.

It's industries filled with passionate people that "get by" best because they care so much about their skills and profession. They go well beyond what they are paid for to achieve the tasks set.

Overall weather isn't something that needs to receive anger or mistrust. It is something that drives interest and enthusiasm to learn more. It's a fascinating science that gets some out into the field to see it at its best.
There must be something pretty good that makes some drive hundreds of kilometres to be a part of it.
A bit like surfing.





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