The Rainbow Weather Radar is now operational - providing Wimmera farmers and emergency services with real-time access to approaching weather.
Agriculture Victoria media and communications officer Justine Severin said the radar could detect rain drops, hail, bushfire plumes, rain intensity, and wind velocity.
"Rainbow Radar is able to measure not just where particles are in the sky, but also how fast they are moving and what kind of particle they are likely to be," Ms Severin said in a statement.
Previously the region relied on weather information from radars at Mildura and Mount Gambier.
The $9.3 million radar is located at Pullut, 10 kilometres south of Rainbow.
It is a partnership between the community, Wimmera Development Association, the state government, and the Bureau of Meteorology. It was funded by state and federal governments.
The radar will aim to address a gap in the weather radar network and help Wimmera and Southern Mallee farmers make more time critical farming decisions.
It will help farmers in the region to make better decisions around times of sowing, harvesting, chemical and fertiliser applications, along with the movement of stock.
Ms Severin said the radar would also increase safety during extreme weather and emergency management incidents, providing flood and severe weather warnings.
The radar is made up of a 22-metre high tower weighing 32 tonnes, a five-metre high dome covering the radar dish, supporting infrastructure including equipment hut, data communications link and back-up power supply, and a radar coverage that spans up to a 300-kilometre radius.
The location was chosen after an extensive process by the Bureau of Meteorology and was selected to be easily accessible and to avoid airports, wind farms and structures such as silos and large trees.
Rainbow Radar data is now available at bom.gov.au/australia/radar. People can also learn more about the radar at agriculture.vic.gov.au/rainbowradar.
Agriculture Minister Jaclyn Symes welcomed the project's completion.
"The Rainbow radar will make a real difference to farmers across the Wimmera and Southern Mallee regions, as well as emergency services," she said.
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