Thursday, 28 November 2019

Ceisteanna (267)

Timmy Dooley

Ceist:

267. Deputy Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the reason the Shannon rainfall radar is offline on a regular basis; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49607/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

Met Éireann operates two weather radars in Ireland, one at Dublin Airport and one at Shannon Airport. This radar network provides real-time rainfall information for Ireland.

The radar at Shannon Airport has had high availability for 2018 and much of 2019, with only short outages, generally for routine maintenance and scheduled during dry weather. However, there have been two more significant outages recently due to technical faults, from 1 to 14 August 2019 and 25 October to 21 November 2019. The generally high levels of availability of the Shannon radar are reflected in the table, which sets out the percentage of time it was operational during each of the months from January 2018 to October 2019.

Met Éireann works closely with the manufacturers of the Shannon radar to schedule preventative maintenance and rectify technical issues when they arise. Most recently, in January 2019, at the request of Met Éireann, a review of the Shannon radar was carried out by the radar manufacturer. Following this review, a schedule of identified maintenance tasks was carried out to reduce the risk of technical faults.

Met Éireann has commenced a procurement process for a replacement weather radar system for Shannon Airport. Additionally Met Éireann has, since 2018, Met Eireann has been actively planning a broader project to upgrade, modernise and expand the Irish weather radar network. A scoping exercise is currently underway to identify the key requirements for a five radar network.

 

Shannon Radar Availability 2018

Shannon Radar Availability 2019

January

98.9%

96.5%

February

97.3%

99.6%

March

99.6%

99.8%

April

99.9%

100%

May

98.8%

100%

June

99.9%

98.7%

July

99.8%

98.2%

August

93.7%

57.7%

September

100%

99.6%

October

99.3%

77%

November

100%

-

December

100%

-