Weather radar for Alice Springs
Alice Springs Windfinding and Weather Watch RadarLocation: Alice Springs Airport
Type: WF 100 C Band
Availability: 2145-0215; 0345-0815; 0945-1415; 1545-2015
The Alice Springs radar has a very good view to the south of the airport. The coverage is from 260 degrees (True) through the south to 075 degrees (True) - this area includes: Tempe Downs, Angus Downs, Kulgera, Finke and the western edge of the Simpson Desert. The effectiveness of the radar is reduced markedly to the north by the MacDonnell Ranges which lie between the Airport and Alice Springs Central Business District. In the north, the area of good coverage lies from Mt. Hay in the west to Mt. Yambah in the north to Harts Range in the northeast. Due to the relative high cloud base normally associated with shower, storm and rain events, intensities in the low ranges must be considered suspect. In normal circumstances, there is a large amount of dry air beneath the clouds and this causes a certain amount of evaporation of the precipitation. In the 0.0 to 0.2 mm range, most of the precipitation does not reach the ground (virga); in the 0.2 to 2.0 mm range the actual rainfall is generally closer to 1.0 mm mark, however, in the higher ranges, rainfall rates are usually fairly accurate. Being a C Band radar, if there are large thunderstorms around, the radar may not be able to detect accurately the strength of other storms located behind the closest storms. This may also lead to the underestimation of the strength, at times, of very intense isolated storms. Heavy rain over the radar itself will reduce the reliability of the radar in all directions.