Eucla And Tennant Creek Radars Switched Off

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Eucla And Tennant Creek Radars Switched Off

Postby @weather_wa » Mon Dec 03, 2012 2:15 pm

Eucla and Tennant Creek Site Automation and Radar Decommissioning:

http://www.bom.gov.au/weather-services/ ... 2012.shtml

8 October - 12 December 2012

From Monday 8 October 2012, the Bureau of Meteorology will no longer have a staff member based at the Eucla (WA) Meteorological Office. All telephone enquiries made to the Eucla Office number will be redirected to the Esperance (WA) Meteorological Office.

From December 2012, the Bureau of Meteorology will no longer have a staff member based at the Tennant Creek (NT) Meteorological Office. All telephone enquiries made to the Tennant Creek Office number will be redirected to the Alice Springs (NT) Meteorological Office.

From Saturday 1 December 2012, the meteorological radar at Tennant Creek will cease operation.

From Wednesday 12 December 2012, the meteorological radar at Eucla will cease operation.

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Re: Eucla And Tennant Creek Radars Switched Off

Postby @weather_wa » Mon Dec 03, 2012 2:15 pm

Bureau switches off Tennant Creek radar:

http://www.weatherzone.com.au/news/bure ... adar/22922

Allyson Horn, Monday December 3, 2012

Tennant Creek residents say they have been promised the town's weather radar will not be torn down this year.

The radar was turned off at the weekend by the Bureau of Meteorology with plans to dismantle it today.

Residents have been protesting outside the site for several days, concerned about losing the source of local weather information.

Protester Kate Foran says the bureau has given a commitment that the radar will not be torn down immediately.

"The attitude here is, by turning it off, it's just as simple a process to turn it back on," she said.

"But our argument was once that tower's pulled down, we've got no chance of it ever being put back up again.

"So delaying that dismantlement was very important and it was to buy time to have some consultation."

- ABC

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Re: Eucla And Tennant Creek Radars Switched Off

Postby @weather_wa » Mon Dec 03, 2012 2:17 pm

NT cattlemen angry about loss of Tennant Creek weather radar:

http://www.abc.net.au/rural/news/conten ... 574337.htm

By Carl Curtain

Cattlemen in the Northern Territory are furious that the Bureau of Meteorology is decommissioning its radar facility in Tennant Creek.

It's believed Federal Budget cuts have forced the closure, which will also see the loss of three local staff positions.

Once the radar is out of use, the BOM will not be able to monitor rain or storms in the region and only atmospheric wind data will be available.

George Scott, from Lake Nash Station, says all the stations in the Barkly region rely on the vital information from the weather station.

"It's a very remote part of Australia and we use the radar continuously, almost on a daily basis," he said.

"I'm furious that we weren't consulted. The community and those who rely on the radar should have been given some warning that it was going to happen.

"People on cattle stations in the NT don't read the fine print in the Budget, so I think it's been communicated extremely poorly and irresponsibly."

The ABC understands the radar at Tennant Creek will cease operation in the coming months.

An advisor to the Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability Senator Don Farrell provided ABC Rural with a statement.

"The Bureau will continue to provide forecasts and warnings for the Northern Territory, including Tennant Creek.

"Tennant Creek is one of a number of sites around Australia that will experience changes to operations as new technology is introduced," the statement reads.

"The Tennant Creek radar was installed to track weather balloons, measuring upper atmospheric winds. Its weather-watch capability was made available when the radar was not required for balloon tracking.

"New wind finding technology that is already installed and currently being commissioned at the site will result in near continuous observations of upper wind profiles being provided to forecasters.

"This is a substantial increase on the current 2-3 observations they currently receive each day, greatly improving our ability to monitor weather conditions at this location. As a consequence of this upgrade, the radar at the site is no longer required."

- ABC

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Re: Eucla And Tennant Creek Radars Switched Off

Postby @weather_wa » Mon Dec 03, 2012 2:18 pm

Tennant Creek weather radar tower gets a stay of execution:

http://www.abc.net.au/rural/news/conten ... 646158.htm

By Steven Schubert Monday, 03/12/2012

Protesters in the Northern Territory town of Tennant Creek say plans to demolish their Bureau of Meteorology weather radar have been delayed.

The Bureau switched off the radar on the weekend, and had planned to remove the tower housing the technology as early as this week.

Protester Kate Foran says locals have been told by the Bureau that the tower won't be removed for at least another month, and she says it will give them more time to mobilise support and try to have the decision to cut the radar reversed.

"It's a completely unacceptable decision to the residents of our community who rely on that real-time radar service to know what the weather's doing in our region, particularly for safety for travel."

Ms Foran says the group considers the delay only a "stay of execution".

"But that's better than this time yesterday when we only had one day to try to make a difference to this decision."

She says if necessary she'll be back there in a month to try to stop the demolition of the tower.

"The attitude here is by turning it off it's just as simple a process to turn it back on," she said.

"Obviously it requires a lot of negotiation with the Bureau of Meteorology to get that argument across of how vital a service it is to people in the bush, but our argument is that once that tower's pulled down, we've got no chance of it ever being put up again.

"So delaying that dismantlement is very important, and it was to buy time to have some consultation and we believe there was nowhere near enough consultation with this community, no where near enough understanding of how vital this service is."

NT Government Minister John Elferink visited the protesters on Saturday morning to offer his support.

"We will make as many appeals as we possibly can to get the Federal Government to reverse this decision."

He says he's confident the Federal Government will listen to his government's concerns, while at the same time suggesting the Bureau of Meteorology has been force to find budget savings due to the Federal deficit.

The Federal Parliamentary Secretary responsible for the Bureau of Meteorology, Senator Don Farrell, declined to be interview by ABC Rural.

In an emailed statement, he says the Tennant Creek radar is ageing and reaching the end of its useful life.

Senator Farrell argues the Bureau will continue to service the Tennant Creek region by preparing weather forecasts twice a day and by reporting automated weather observations.

- ABC

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Re: Eucla And Tennant Creek Radars Switched Off

Postby @weather_wa » Mon Dec 03, 2012 2:25 pm

Federal Government defends axing of Tennant Creek weather radar:

http://www.abc.net.au/rural/news/conten ... 580349.htm

By Carl Curtain

The Federal Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability has defended a decision to remove a Bureau of Meteorology radar from Tennant Creek, in the Northern Territory.

The decommissioning, forced by Budget cuts, has angered the local residents, who believe lives will be put at risk without accurate information on rain and severe storms.

But Senator Don Farrell says new technology at the site will allow for wind profiling in the region, which is what the radar was originally installed to do.

"It won't do what it's currently doing, that's true, and I understand why there's some concern about that," he said.

"But the Bureau will continue to give a range of detailed forecasts and weather observations to Tennant Creek and the areas around.

"They'll continue to get twice-daily town forecasts and four-day forecasts for the Barkly district."

- ABC

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Re: Eucla And Tennant Creek Radars Switched Off

Postby @weather_wa » Mon Dec 03, 2012 2:25 pm

BOM concedes no consultation over Tennant radar axing:

http://www.abc.net.au/rural/nt/content/ ... 611847.htm

By Carl Curtain and Matt Brann

The Tennant Creek radar will soon be decommissioned.

The head of Bureau of Meteorology has been grilled in a Senate Estimates hearing on the decision to close the weather radar in Tennant Creek.

The Country Hour broke the news in August of the planned decommissioning, which regional residents and pilots say will leave them without vital information.

Both Tennant Creek and Eucla in Western Australia are losing their radar facilities, along with staff positions.

In Canberra last night, Opposition Liberal Senator for South Australia Simon Birmingham asked the director of meteorology Dr Rob Vertessy why the decision was made.

"We have installed wind profilers at these two sites which produce vastly superior information on the upper air winds and therefore the radars are surplus to requirement," he said.

"It was possible to see rain on those radars as well but that is a down-side of closing those facilities."

He conceded there was no consultation made with the local community.

"We announced our intention through a service change on the Bureau website in early October."

The lack of consultation frustrated the Northern Territory Regional Airspace Users Advisory Committee.

Convenor Ron Lawford says it will be less safe to fly a plane in the Tennant Creek region once the radar is out of use.

"The fact that the weather around Tennant Creek isn't all that bad normally, doesn't get away from the fact that the weather is sometimes quite bad.

"Everyone would sway a degradation in the accuracy of winds at height for a weather radar on where the rain is actually falling."

- ABC

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Re: Eucla And Tennant Creek Radars Switched Off

Postby @weather_wa » Mon Dec 03, 2012 3:30 pm

Online petition launched in support of Tennant Creek Radar:

http://www.beefcentral.com/p/news/article/2415

The Tennant Creek community has launched an online petition as it steps up a fight against Federal Government plans to turn off its local weather radar next month.

The Government has stated that the Tennant Creek radar will be decommissioned and its full-time staff member relocated to another facility next month as it makes way for new technology and an automated system that will improve wind-profiling in the region.

However the local community is concerned the move will result in diminished local weather forecasting services in a region where storm activity can quickly make unsealed roads impassable after rain.

The Government says the Bureau of Meteorology will continue to provide detailed forecasts and weather observations for the Tennant Creek region, but has acknowledged there will be a reduction in the detailed weather information currently available to the the region.

Bureau of Meteorology director Dr Rob Vertessy told a recent senate estimates hearing that the consequences of the closure of radar facilities in Tennant Creek and Eucla in South Australia would be very little, because both radars were used to determine upper air wind profiles, while the new technology being introduced will provide superior information on upper air winds and means the existing radars are now surplus to requirement. The age of the facilities also meant they were no longer cost-effective to maintain.

However he conceded that there was a downside of the closure because the Tennant Creek radar also provided local weather watch capability and the the ability to monitor local storm and rainfall conditions.

Liberal Senator for South Australia Simon Birmingham asked the Bureau chief if the capacity to monitor rain and storms in the Tennant Creek and Eucla regions would now be lost as a result of the decommisioning of both facilities.

“It is diminished somewhat,” Dr Vertessy replied, “but I would say that these are areas not noted for heavy rainfall and storms. These are pretty dry areas.”

The hearing was also told that the cuts to the Tennant Creek and Eucla radar services formed part of the Bureau’s response to a $15m in reduction in its overall budget this year.

Tennant Creek residents have started an online petition calling for the Federal Government to rethink its decision.

“The Tennant Creek weather radar is an essential tool for all of those living in this remote community,” the petition reads.

“It provides essential information to businesses (including the cattle industry), detailed data for air traffic in and out of Tennant Creek, and performs a key safety role for all members of the community. Closure of this facility will impact significantly on this community.”

Northern Territory Cattlemen’s Association president David Warriner recently described the decision as “cost saving gone mad” which would put lives at risk and reduce northern productivity.

The current WF100 radar was commissioned in October 2005 to replace an obsolete WF3 wind-measuring radar which had operated at the Tennant Creek Meteorological Office for the previous 32 years.

The WF100 radar has performed two roles at Tennant Creek – a weather watch capability providing detailed imagery showing the location, intensity and movement of rainfall, updated every 10 minutes, and has provided provide forecasters with improved upper wind measurements through closer tracking of a weather balloon targets.

The petition can be viewed here: http://www.change.org/petitions/the-hon-tony-burke-mp-minister-for-sustainability-env-water-pop-comm-stop-the-closure-of-the-tennant-creek-nt-weather-radar

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Re: Eucla And Tennant Creek Radars Switched Off

Postby @weather_wa » Mon Dec 03, 2012 3:59 pm

Local lobbies to save weather radar:

http://www.tennantcreektimes.com.au/sto ... r/?cs=1261

A LOCAL businessman says the planned decommissioning of Tennant Creek’s weather radar is outrageous and he’s lobbying the Federal Government to reverse the decision.

The weather bureau office would also be closed as part of the cost-cutting measures.

The Bureau of Meteorology plans to decommission the radar which was installed five years ago to provide forecasters with improved upper wind measurements.

The radar also provides online information on rain and severe storms.

The Bureau claims new wind profilers which provide superior information means the radar has been superseded.

It concedes that information on rain and storms will no longer be available but says detailed forecasts and weather observations will continue.

Mike Nash, who is running a petition, says residents from throughout the Barkly as well as cattlemen and pilots will lose access to vital weather information.

“The weather radar has become a vital tool for everyone in the bush,” he said.

“Pilots regard the radar as a necessity now and the Royal Flying Doctor Service has indicated that there could be significant flight delays if they are unsure of what storms are in the region.

“Cattlemen use the radar to monitor storms so they know when it’s safe to travel and so do tourists and residents who travel on the highway.

“There’s no doubt the safety of air and road travellers will be put at risk if the radar is pulled down.”

Mike said to add insult to injury, three positions at the weather bureau have been axed.

“Two people, with families, have already gone and the last bloke there is due to leave within weeks,” he said.

“This decision is a real kick in the guts for Tennant Creek and the Barkly.

“It is very damaging to the morale of our whole community and we shouldn’t have to put up with it.

“Whoever had the bright idea to save money by targeting the people who live in the Barkly has been very shortsighted.

“If anyone had bothered to come here and talk to people about the ramifications of this decision they might have realised that we have come to rely on the services provided by the radar and value the workers who have run the bureau of meteorology here for many decades.”

Last month, the director of meteorology, Dr Rob Vertessy, was grilled during a Senate Estimates hearing on the decision where he conceded there had been no community consultation about the matter.

There is still time to sign the petition.

Mike Nash will be at the Foodbarn again tomorrow morning and the petition is also available at the Memorial Club, Mobil, MLA Gerry McCarthy’s office, Elliott Hotel and the Barkly Homestead.

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