Tech glitch hits Albany Doppler radar

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Albany’s Doppler radar is offline again to prevent “significant damage” to the weather tracking system while technicians undertake assessment and repairs.

The radar has been switched off since last Monday, just weeks after it came back online following a problem in May.

A Bureau of Meteorology spokeswoman said the radar had a problem with its antenna system.

“Our technicians’ initial assessment suggests specialist mechanical expertise could be required to resolve this fault, which could also cause significant damage if the radar is left online,” she said. “As such, the bureau has taken the radar offline as a precautionary measure while we undertake a full assessment and subsequent repairs.

“The bureau estimates a return to service in the coming week.

“However, this could be affected by COVID-19 restrictions if specialist technical experts are required from interstate.”

The spokeswoman said warnings and forecasts would not be affected by the radar being offline.

She encouraged residents to access forecasts and warnings on the bureau’s website app during the outage.

“While weather radars are valuable tools for real-time observations, they are one part of a complex observing system from which the bureau draws data including satellites, upper-air observations, and automatic weather stations,” she said. “Radars are complex pieces of infrastructure and can, from time to time, develop an issue that takes some time to repair.

“The bureau understands the value primary producers and local communities place on the situational awareness weather radars provide, and always seeks to return radars to service as quickly as possible.”

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