We have followed this story with interest over several months after it was decided that a site near the airport was unsuitable because of air traffic. The new site is on one of the hills above Nukutatava so we are happy that such a useful project will be going ahead.
from today's Fiji Times
Friday, April 30, 2010
The Fiji Meteorological Service has bought new radar to be located at Vatu-damu Hill in Macuata to assist in early detection of tropical cyclones affecting Fiji from the north. Meteorology's acting dir-ector Dr Sushil Sharma confirmed the new DWSR-8500S worth $2.5 million will be installed in the district of Wailevu, which is 12 kilometres west of Labasa Town. The radar will be a 480 kilometre long range wea-ther surveillance system.
"This means it can cover a total diameter of 960km from the observation point in all directions, for example east to west or north to south from the radar position.
"It will be able to see weather systems as far nor-th as Wallis and Futuna, and even Rotuma. This ra-dar will complement the Nadi and Nausori radar and will together provide alm-ost an entire Fiji region coverage," Dr Sharma said.
The radar is expected to withstand 200km per hour gusts to 300km per hour.
"Despite winds of 300 ki-lometres per hour over it in real time, it will continue to work during severe systems. The radar will also assist in the detection of severe squall lines similar to the one that passed over Fiji on late Sunday night and early Monday morning. The radar project is expected to be completed by October 2010.