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Emerald falls off the radar

The Emerald weather radar sustained damage in the weekend storms, but returned to service yesterday afternoon.
The Emerald weather radar sustained damage in the weekend storms, but returned to service yesterday afternoon.

THE Bureau of Meteorology is investigating the failure of the Emerald radar after its signal was lost when a line of wild storms passed over on Sunday night.

A bureau technician flew to Emerald yesterday morning to inspect the $5 million Doppler installation with a spokesman saying it was back up and running by 3pm.

Rockhampton BOM forecaster Mike Marinan said the Central Highlands was lashed by a series of storms on Saturday and Sunday, with the heaviest falls over 200mm recorded around and to the east of Middlemount.

Emerald recorded a weekend total of over 150mm in parts, with widespread heavy falls from the Drummond Ranges east, and into the Nogoa and Comet river catchments.

The Fairbairn Dam spillway yesterday at noon was steady at 65cm, well below minor flood levels.

“The bulk of the bad weather has passed, we’re over the worst of it now with this episode,” Mr Marinan said.

“But we’re still in March and there’s probably another month to go as far as potentially heavy rainfall is concerned.

“The southern oscillation index and La Nina are still reasonably strong, so we wouldn’t be saying we’re clear of any heavy weather for another five to six weeks.

“The radar won’t be out for long.”

Mr Marinan said while it had been raining and flooding intermittently in the Highlands since September, 2010, October and February delivered below-average totals.

“Now, I think you’re going to see fine weather through there for the next several days into the weekend,” Mr Marinan said.

“You’re only looking at isolated showers in the eastern part, so the bulk of the Highlands should be fine.”


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