Doppler Weather Radar Service Update

May 28, 2015

The Department of Civil Aviation, today [May 28] issued an update on the Doppler weather radar which has been out of service since February of this year and is not anticipated to be returned to service until mid-August.

A spokesperson said, “The Doppler weather radar, which provides a moving graphic of rain and storms, is a specialised and complex radar that uses the Doppler effect to produce velocity data about objects at a distance.

“The current Doppler weather radar was purchased and installed in July 2004. The Radar replaced a smaller and much lower powered system, and was primarily intended to enhance the provision of weather forecasting in Bermuda.

“The radar experienced an outage earlier this year and extensive troubleshooting has been necessary in order to identify what the issue was and what parts were required to restore the system to service.

“The necessary repair parts have been ordered and once received on-site technical assistance will be provided by the vendor to complete the installation, inspect the system to identify any further enhancements which will extend the working life of the system and to help ensure that the operating platform remains robust for a number of years to come.”

“Although the Doppler weather radar will not be back in service within a time frame initially anticipated, the public is not at risk,” said Aaron Adderley, General Manager, Bermuda L.F. Wade International Airport.

“While the radar enhances the way we are able to forecast weather, [primarily our ability to more accurately assess thunderstorms, squalls, and hurricanes as well as their timing, their duration, and their location] the Bermuda Weather Service is still able to forecast these weather phenomena accurately using the other tools and information readily available such as satellite imagery, radiosonde information, and weather model data; it is very effective indeed.

“In addition, during hurricane season Bermuda is ably supported by the US National Hurricane Centre.”

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Comments (24)

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  1. Ed Case says:

    I think I can speak for most people when i say that this is unacceptable. The weather channel and website provides some great info but none so great as ‘IS IT GOING TO RAIN’?

    I know i can see the high tide for next Wednesday, or the moonrise time for last Tuesday, even the mean tide measurement. However, 99.9% of people want to know IS IT GOING TO RAIN!!!

    While it ceratinly is interesting to note that today’s high is 78 while yedterday was 76, it is not as interesting as KNOWING WHETHER IT WILL RAIN.

    many people in Bermuda like to travel on a bike because it is so much easier to get thru traffic. However there is one disadvantage to riding a bike and that is it is not very nice to RIDE IN THE RAIN!

    It would be really nice if we had our radar back SO WE COULD TELL IF IT IS GOING TO RAIN.

    The wind is north east today, but it could be southwest, or even south east and wouldn’t make much difference to 99% of people. It might be 10 – 15 knots or 15 – 20 knots it doesn’t really matter. However, the fact THAT IT MIGHT RAIN this evening is of great interest to loads and loads of people – much more so than any other of the hundreds of bits on info the weather station gives us.

    So to summarise: WE NEED TO KNOW IF IT IS GOING TO RAIN.

    Forget the other stuff. Do we have to have Not The Um Um write a skit or song or something?


    • Quinton Berkely Butterfield says:

      You sir, win the internet today!!

    • Skink says:

      Keep calm cause your anger is Doppler effecting me angry

      For now use noaa and buy an umbrella and a hh you’ll be fine. Science is a virtue which you must be patient for. This isn’t like fixing your tv antenna

  2. peter n says:

    Dopey backwards third world island….get your sh** together….!!

  3. Shugamelts says:

    It amazes me that people forget what they did BEFORE the weather radar. If you ride a bike, you pack your rain gear under your seat, or in your basket to be prepared. The weather radar, by the way is a courtesy not a right.

    You want to know the chance of rain? Buy some SHARK OIL :)

  4. REALLY says:


    I too have a bike and was using the doppler radar to track the location of any rain in the area which was really useful, BUT

    REALLY….To complain in that manner is why I say we take too much for granted here. Do you pay the weather service for providing you weather information? It’s a free service to us in Bermuda and a lot of costs go into running and upgrading the equipment,etc.

    Now, I agree it’s taking a little longer than I expected, but that’s the way life goes, Mr. Ed, so chill out and carry your rainsuit with you on your rides like I do.

    Just deal with it!!!

    Note: No, I do not work or know anyone at BWS.

  5. Sick and tired ! says:

    This is BS that this should be out for 6 months. In this day and age many people rely on this info especially if they work outside ! Come on Minister Crockwell get your s**te together.

  6. JUNK YARD DOG says:

    Our economy and a very well being is controlled by the weather don’t waste my time with a bunch of excuses and a history lesson. Fix it.

  7. Gabbs says:

    Lmao……Well said Ed

  8. Jim says:

    Oh dear, it never rains but it pours!

  9. James says:

    I cannot believe that in this day and age that anything should take this long to repair. There is something very fishy about this.
    Not sure why they call it doppler radar. There is no other kind. All radar uses the doppler effect to work.

    • Yes 2 says:

      Your knowledge of radar systems is considerably lacking. Go read a book……………

    • Scientist says:

      This last statement is incorrect. Wikipedia RADAR and the DOPPLER EFFECT and learn the science before commenting.

      As for knowing when it is about to rain. It is true that the radar is stunningly effective and useful – which is why we love it so much! However, there are other methods such as a) look at the wind and clouds, b) look at the satellite imagery on the BWS website.

      Hope that helps!

  10. mumbojumbo says:

    A doppleganger …no doubt…seems like such a necessary item notvto have in use for an item rather important to navigation and weather watch…can’you keep a spare?you should be able to purchase from ship savage yards quite cheap…or appollo duck…or navies cruise lines etc.

  11. JUNK YARD DOG says:

    In the Old days, say 100 years ago you could take a test tube to which you add a teaspoon of Mayonnaise , fill with Olive Oil cork it , do not shake,stick that contraption on a piece of cedar and call your self the parish weather man.

    The amateurs of the day hang a 23.75 ” piece of Goat rope on a board outside the kitchen door; not in a tree as you will get a false reading.

    If the rope is wet its raining.
    If it is dry it is not raining.
    If it moves to the North the wind is from the South.
    If it streams out straight it is telling you that is very windy.
    You do not need the rope to tell you if you are hot,stay away from the dark and stormy.
    If it blows away it is a Hurricane.
    If you can not see it, its dark , go back to bed.
    If the cat howling is keeping you awake, throw it.
    If your roof blows off . Tornado ! Captain Jack.

  12. Skink says:

    Guess we byes gotta use our Shark-oil barometers and check de surf on south shore for dem hurricanes a coming :( …….was nice if we had electric to watch the radar showing the storms were vacating Bermuda as the eyes passed by. #shamefulBWS

  13. Cranberry says:

    I haven’t been out the house since February – my plants are dying from lack of water – the pool is down… fix it soon please my life is a mess…

  14. Ed Case says:

    Ok, so until further notice we will have to make do with the weatherman’s daily blurb which is almost always a variation of:

    “Fair to partly cloudy, with a chance of isolated rain showers”.

    I’ll just look out the window instead.

  15. Comfortably numb says:

    There really is no excuse for the delay in repair. After the well paid BWS staff’s mishandling of “TS ” Fay last year I would prefer to follow the Doppler radar than the “forecasters” at BWS. Rather like the marine traffic lights at Somerset Bridge that have yet to be replaced/repaired despite the fact that we are heading into peak marine traffic season but that’s another story for another day. Best example of an oxymoron, government efficiency.

  16. Cow Polly says:

    Some people have just got to take the rod outta their backsides, relax and laugh a little – Ed Case you are spot on and made me laugh today. Thank you.

  17. Big Dude says:

    Geez, was the expat who looked after it irreplaceable? Why did we have Johnny getting trained from Sven !!!

  18. Smoove says:

    Try using shark oil…it works. ..

  19. Warwick pond skink says:

    So here we are Mid August… whats the update?