Farmers and regional communities in the state's Central West can now readily access detailed, real-time weather observations received by the new Doppler radar at Yeoval.
Minister for Agriculture and Western NSW Dugald Saunders said the information provided by the radar will revolutionise how weather-dependent decisions are made, and will enhance the productivity of rural communities.
"The new Doppler radar at Yeoval enables the Bureau of Meteorology to provide accurate, real-time data, determining rain and wind velocity, raindrop and hail size, and the height of bushfire plumes up to 200 kilometres from the radar site," Mr Saunders said.
"Primary producers, emergency services and rural businesses in the regional hubs of Orange, Dubbo, Mudgee and Cowra will benefit from the vital information broadcast by the radar, which aids timely and informed decision making.
"For our farmers, knowing when to sow, harvest or move stock in advance will significantly boost the business efficiencies of their enterprise."
Local Wayne Dunford from NSW Farmers said the group has been advocating for the additional weather data-gathering from the west and north-west of NSW for about seven years - when we were in the grip of drought.
He was chairing the NSW Farmers drought taskforce at the time and began to query how some of soil moisture maps were put together and measured - and the answer was from the available rainfall data. But there was a "huge void" in his words in that data in western and north-western NSW.
Finally, in 2019, he was able to attend the signing of the contracts for the delivery of three additional Dopplers in Forbes.
Mr Dunford is already using the new Dopplers to track rainfall and rainfall intensity across the region.
It's useful for both the immediate decisions - whether you should go ahead with spraying or get sheep under cover for shearing - and for our long-term understanding of weather conditions.
"It will be helpful in a lot of ways," he said.
"It's another management tool in the toolbox, we can look at what's going on, and a massive amount of data for the agencies who need it."
The Yeoval Doppler radar is funded by the NSW Government as part of a $24.5 million election commitment to deliver three new radars across the western region of the state.
"New Doppler radars at Brewarrina and Hillston-Ivanhoe went live in 2020 and 2021 respectively, and have since conveyed a wealth of weather information to the surrounding communities," Mr Saunders said.
"The addition of Yeoval means an area covering approximately 30 per cent of NSW now has access to real-time weather warnings and forecasts."
Data from the Yeoval Doppler radar is available by downloading the Bureau of Meteorology weather app or at www.bom.gov.au
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