The Mount Isa weather radar underwent planned maintenance last week, as wet season conditions strengthen across the North West.
The Bureau of Meteorology doppler radar service was unavailable from February 1 to 5 as it underwent routine maintenance, with the BoM stating radars were complex machines that required maintenance twice a year.
"They operate 24 hours a day, with thousands of mechanical movements every day," A BoM spokesperson said.
"As with any mechanical device, radars benefit from regular maintenance to ensure reliable operation. The radar transmitter / receiver system also needs regular checking and calibration to ensure data presented to forecasters and the public is accurate."
When asked why routine maintenance was being conducted during the wet season, the spokesperson said it was "inevitable".
"With two scheduled services each year for the Bureau's fleet of 63 radars it is inevitable that some of this work will have to occur during times when severe weather is more likely.
"However, maintenance activities only occur with the approval of our forecasters, to ensure the radar is not off-line during significant weather events."
Maintenance was completed by Friday February 5, returning radar services back to the area and just in time for Mount Isa's biggest rain of 2021 on February 6 recording 66.8 millimetres.
Cloncurry also had 55.4mm. Julia Creek had 40.6mm, Camooweal had 44.2mm and Lake Julius had 43.8mm.
The BoM said it does not rely on any one system for its forecasts and warnings.
"Our satellite service along with the automatic weather station (AWS) located at Mount Isa Airport provides current weather conditions for Mount Isa, with additional data available from weather stations at New May Downs and Carter's Bore within a 30km radius of the town.
"MetEye can provide current conditions including cloud cover from satellite."
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