Contact newsdesk on:

Classified adverts   I   Jobs                               

Small Ads & Local Services    


Hebrides News


A new state-of-the-art radar, replacing the former weather radar at Lewis in has started operations.

A Met Office weather tracking station at Bayble in Point, Lewis, which scans 160 miles out to sea for UK-wide forecasting.

The new weather radar facility at Druim ‘a Starraig - the most northerly in Britain - will provide advance warning of severe weather approaching from the north and west.

The real-time information will help forecasters in Scotland and the wider UK and will be instrumental in fulfilling the National Severe Weather Warning Service which raised alerts of recent storms and flooding.

The new facility can - for the first time - capture the size and shape of raindrops and snowflakes. These new scientific advancements will ultimately lead to improvements in the  accuracy of rainfall estimates, particularly during high impact weather events and they are the latest step by the Met Office to upgrade its 30 year old radar network.

The new radar has also begun to capture wind speed measurements.

The network is one of the longest established radar networks of its kind in the world and consists of 15 radars across the UK.

Dave Jones Head of Met Office observations said: “Weather radar provides the only means of measuring the spatial extent and distribution of rainfall over a wide geographical area.

“The most intense rainfall events are often highly localised and can therefore be missed or under-sampled by rain gauge networks, and whilst their occurrence can be forecast with skill, it is often not currently possible to forecast their exact location.

“Radar therefore provides a crucial input to short-range weather forecasts (nowcasts) of precipitation rate, and improves the skill of weather forecasts when it is assimilated into numerical weather prediction models.”

The radar at Lewis was originally opened in 1991 and is the most northerly radar in the network. It is situated on a hill, in an area where peat is extracted for domestic heating. The hill was previously un-named, and the radar was initially named ‘Beacon Hill ’  by the Met Office.

The system was developed in-house by Met Office engineers, combining world-leading hardware with unparalleled levels of skill and expertise.   Wherever possible equipment was sourced locally ensuring the project, while cost effective, also supported the local economy.

The new solution is based on ‘Open System Architecture’, which makes it more flexible than the previous network and more adaptable and easier to upgrade in the future as radar technology continues to develop.



New weather tracking station opens in Lewis

30 November 2017