Radar coverage is sparse across regional Australia, much to the frustration of miners and local communities. This is because radars are typically placed near the coast, where much of Australia lives. Unfortunately, they can only detect rainfall within a 256-kilometer radius (figure 1), leaving many areas without coverage.
Significant rainfall was observed in the Pilbara last week, which was not covered by your stock standard radar. The holes in the coverage through regional Western Australia are noticeably clear in the image below (figure 1).
Figure 1: Radar coverage and radar imagery on Wednesday 5 May 8:05am WST, showing large gaps in the radar coverage.
Weatherzone has the solution, and its name is Oracle.
Oracle is a new ‘radar’ system, which enables users to see rain as its happening anywhere in the world. In addition to tracking current rain, Oracle also provides live forecasts of rainfall rates, lightning, and cloud for up to three hours in advance, for anywhere in the world.
It does this by feeding live satellite imagery, lightning data and nearby radar imagery into the forecast system. This cutting-edge technology was built in collaboration with Solcast.
Oracle certainly hit the nail on the head last week, with Oracle rainfall rates of 40mm/hr shown near the Tom Price area (yellow shade figure 2).
But how did this compare to the rainfall observed on the ground at weather stations?
Rainfall observation sites on the ground near Tom Price, WA, have received between 39-41mm in the 24 hours leading up to 9am last Wednesday, 5 May (boxes with rainfall observation numbers in figure 2).
Figure 2: Oracle observed rainfall rates (shading) on Wednesday 5 May 8:05am (am or pm) WST. The boxes with numbers are rainfall observations since 9am on the 4 May.
Oracle is a more than adequate replacement for radar, but the genius of it is also a one-of-a-kind forecast system, delivering accurate forecasts out to 4 hours. Stay tuned for additional updates on Oracles new forecasting capabilities. For more information, please contact us at email@example.com.