Weather Forecasts & Live Reports
About Townsville (Hervey Range) Radar
The site at Hervey Range is at an elevation of 590m and is some 25km in a direct line WSW of Townsville. The site offers good exposure to the horizon however suffers from some obstruction to it's view due to the higher terrain around the region. Mt Elliott (1234m) lies approximately 40km to the ESE and can restrict the radar's ability to see light to moderate precipitation echoes in that direction. The Hervey Range itself to the west and the Paluma Range to the northwest can obscure early development of thunderstorms, but fully developed storms are picked up well. The Doppler capability of this radar provides enhanced detection of the potential for damaging winds from thunderstorms. The radar is well sited for monitoring tropical cyclones over the Coral Sea as they approach the Townsville coastal area. Showers in southeasterly trade winds are common along the coast during the dry season and the radar's range for these extends from offshore Innisfail to Bowen. It is possible that coastal locations between these towns and locations inland of Ingham may experience light to moderate showers that are not picked up on the Hervey Range radar, that might be detected by the adjacent radars at Bowen (Abbot Point) and Cairns(Saddle Mountain). Very distant showers in the Coral Sea may also be better detected by these adjacent radars due if their relative distance is less. Low level drizzle can also go undetected due to the radar beam overshooting the top of the cloud and precipitation. Heavy rain over the radar site may on very rare occasions cause attenuation of all signals. Path attenuation can also occur when the radar beam passes through an intense thunderstorm cell, reducing the returned signal from cells further along that path. When rain from cloud bands does not reach the ground (known as virga) there may be indications of rainfall that appears to dissipate as it approaches the radar. Apart from these limitations, the radar generally gives a good representation of rainfall intensity and highly reliable detection of severe weather threats.