The Azores archipelago should have a working weather radar on Terceira island, starting in August, the Portuguese Institute of the Sea and Atmosphere (IPMA) revealed today.

“It is expected that the meteorological radar system of Terceira / Santa Bárbara will start its exploration, on an experimental basis, during August 2020”, IPMA said in a press release.

According to the institute, “a project is underway that aims to install a Band C Doppler meteorological radar system, with double polarization technology, in the central group of the Azores, in Santa Bárbara (Terceira island)”.

This equipment, according to the institute, will be “particularly relevant in severe weather situations, with a direct impact on safeguarding lives and property and on the development of various socio-economic activities”, as well as “for aeronautical and maritime navigation”.

The US Air Force held the only weather radar in the Azores, located in the Santa Bárbara mountain range, on Terceira island, but decided to deactivate it in 2016, following a military reduction process at the Lajes base, located in same island.

At the end of 2017, the US Air Force ceded the radar tower to IPMA and the Regional Government of the Azores leased a land to the institute, where the new radar was expected to be installed, in the Santa Bárbara mountain range, the highest point on the island. , during 2018.

In June 2019, IPMA President Jorge Miranda said he hoped the radar on Terceira Island would be installed by the end of that year, revealing that the intervention had already been awarded for 1.9 million euros.

However, the IPMA only obtained the visa of the Court of Auditors this year to proceed with the installation.

“After completing the tender procedure, the Court of Auditors decided to grant the visa to the contract for the ‘Supply, Installation and Putting into Service of a Dual Polarized Doppler Weather Radar – Santa Bárbara, Terceira Island, Azores’, thus starting the execution of the respective contract ”, revealed the institute today.

According to the Portuguese Institute of the Sea and the Atmosphere, this radar will fill “an observational gap in the region”.

“It is worth mentioning the decisive contribution that this radar will make, in addition to the network of surface stations and other remote observation equipment, in the fields of short-term weather forecasting (up to three hours) for general purposes and surveillance permanent weather forecast ”, reads the statement.

The installation of a second weather radar is planned on the island of São Miguel, but the IPMA president has already defended the need for a third on the island of Flores.