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Media Release
Greg Hunt MP
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Federal Member for Flinders

14 November 2005

Rain on the radar


For anyone who has ever had to answer the question of What makes it rain? The Bureau of Meteorology is unlocking their long held secrets to the public at a series of free weather workshops being held at Manning Clarke Lecture Theatre on the 19th November.

The Hon. Greg Hunt, Parliamentary Secretary with Ministerial responsibility for the Bureau of Meteorology said it is hoped the workshops will give the public the opportunity to learn about the work of the Bureau of Meteorology.

"The Bureau of Meteorology has an integral role in predicting natural disasters, alerting travellers to storm warnings and generally helping to keep people safe from harm."

"Australians love talking about the weather and these workshops will give people an insight into how the Bureau comes up with the information and the technology behind it," Mr Hunt said.

Mr Hunt said the Canberra radar located at Captain's Flat has a very good view in all directions and is the primary weather radar for the A.C.T., the Southern Tablelands and the New South Wales south coast, with coverage extending across the Monaro region through to the Victorian border.

"Weather Watch radars are very effective tools for the detection of rain. Bureau forecasters can interpret the patterns and intensity of the radar images to provide warnings of major weather events such as severe thunderstorms, tropical cyclones and areas of heavy rainfall" Mr Hunt said.

The radar images on the Bureau's website show the location of rain in relation to local features such as the coastline, with different colours used to depict rainfall intensity. There are fifteen levels of rainfall intensity shown.

The workshops will include a look at the radar images available on the Bureau's web site www.bom.gov.au and provide information on how to get more out of this form of weather data. Topics covered in the workshops will include what makes it rain, how radars work, and how to use the web images effectively.

The Bureau's web site is consistently rated one of Australia's most accessed web sites and regularly records more than 400 million hits a month.

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology will conduct two free weather radar workshops on 19 November 2005 at the Manning Clarke Lecture Theatre 2 from 10.30am to 12.30pm, with a repeat session to follow from 2pm to 4.30pm. It is recommended that those interested in attending book by calling (02) 6247 0411.

Media Contact:
Kristy McSweeney (Mr Hunt's office) 0415 740 722

Commonwealth of Australia