Storm Hazrds Testbed

The South East Queensland (SEQ) Storm Hazards Testbed is a field program supported by the University of Queensland (UQ), the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BoM), the National Environmental Science Program (NESP), Guy Carpenter, Fugro Roames and Argonne National Laboratory. The goal of the testbed is to improve current capacity for mitigating against convective storm hazards through remote sensing and in-situ technology. This includes improving both nowcasting and the long-term understanding of damaging wind and hail across SEQ and nationally.

Improving current capabilities is important because:

  1. Convective storm hazards contribute the greatest insured losses across Australia.
  2. Rapidly increasing population of Australia’s coastal regions, including SEQ, continue to increase vulnerability.
  3. There is a lack of research regarding convective storm hazards in subtropical regions of Australia and coastal regions internationally.
  4. This lack of understanding limits our ability to calibrate and verify techniques for analysing convective storm hazards.

The testbed domain is centred on the Mt Stapylton dual-polarimetric S-band weather radar, with mobile operations limited to within 100 km of the radar. The remote sensing vehicle will augment the domain in regions where severe thunderstorms are expected and it will provide fine-scale dual-polarised radar coverage (including for dual Doppler retrievals) and proximity radiosonde profiles. The in-situ and pilot vehicles will target the severe thunderstorm core regions and will have a unique capacity to measure hail kinetic energy using instrumentation provided by the Insurance Institute for Home and Business Safety (IHBS). In addition, measurements of damaging near surface winds will be collecting using mobile wind sensor towers.

You can also support the testbed through the #UQhail citizen science initiative. Post your reports on facebook or our website.

UQhail reports for October 2017