Storm Chasers kick up a storm over radar
NORTH Coast Storm Chasers have launched a petition to get the Grafton radar upgraded to provide better prediction of severe storms across the region.
NCSC founder Antonio Parancin said a fellow NCSC member heard the Bureau of Meteorology was considering upgrading the radar.
He said they thought a petition may encourage BoM to fast-track an upgrade.
"We think it's very important to have a high-quality and high-resolution radar in an area that sees regular severe storms," he said.
Mr Parancin said upgrading the radar to the standard of Brisbane's radar would provide enhanced data and high-resolution images, making storm prediction more reliable.
"It is a high-resolution Doppler radar, so we would be able to better detect severe thunderstorms as well as wind speeds inside the storms.
"It would definitely enhance the ability of the bureau to make better, more informed, earlier storm warnings."
Early detection of hail and severe winds would be possible with the Doppler upgrade, Mr Parancin said.
"The Grafton radar is good, but sometimes it doesn't quite show properly what is in a storm cell.
"Sometimes it doesn't do storms justice, especially with hail storms."
In 18 months NCSC have attracted a following of more than 25,000 people on Facebook from all over Australia.
By teaming with the Northern Rivers Severe Weather Group, Higgins Storm Chasing and South Brisbane Storms, Mr Parancin said they were hoping for 20,000 signatures or more on the petition so it could be tabled in Parliament.
BoM Acting New South Wales regional director, Stephen Lellyett said the petition would be considered with other feedback.
Mr Lellyett said detailed investigation would be needed before an upgrade cost could be estimated.
"In deciding on locations for new radars or upgrades, the bureau takes into account expected meteorological conditions, threats of severe weather, economic activity, population, observations available from other sources such as satellites and automatic weather stations, and available budget," he said.