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1 Mar 2019 7:59 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

A new technique for monitoring severe weather in Australia

Professor Hamish McGowan

Professor Hamish McGowan is a Geographer in the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Queensland. His research interests include meteorological hazards, earth surface-atmosphere interactions, weather and climates of Alpine and mountainous regions, the role of atmospheric dust in local, regional and global climate dynamics and palaeoclimate reconstruction.

Professor McGowan has been developing a new field of research into severe weather – in particular thunderstorm and bushfire meteorology. The research is based in eastern Australia making use of the natural thunderstorm hotspot of southeast Queensland, and the bushfire prone states of NSW and Victoria. The research is supported by partners in the Bureau of Meteorology, NSW Rural Fire Service, Victoria Country Fire Authority and Queensland Fire and Emergency Services.

This severe weather research is distinguished internationally by the novel use of a portable dual polarised x-band radar (UQ-XPOL). Japanese Radar manufacturer Furuno is providing technical support and software upgrades to enable new radar scanning patterns to observe storm and smoke plume dynamics. Professor McGowan believes this work will have far reaching international applications as his team develops mobile radar specifically designed for real-time wildfire observation and pyro-convective plume dynamics.

Photo: Courtesy of H. McGowan

References:

McGowan, H.A., Soderholm, J.S., Callow, N.J., McGrath, G.S. and Campbell, M.L. (2018) Global warming in the context of 2000 years of Australian alpine temperature and snow cover. Scientific Reports-Nature Publications, DOI:10.1038/s41598-018-22766-z.

McCarthy, N., McGowan, H., Guyot, A. and Dowdy, A. (2018) Mobile X-Pol radar: A new tool for investigating pyroconvection and associated wildfire meteorology. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, doi:10.1175/BAMS-D-16-0118.1.



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