20 November 2014
Visitors to Myrmidon Reef will notice a new reef addition after AIMS erected a new weather station tower on the reef early last week. The tower replaces the previous tower that was knocked down during Tropical Cyclone Yasi in February 2011. This is the last of several AIMS ocean observation facilities to be replaced in the wake of the Category 5 cyclone.
Construction of the new tower started at AIMS’ Cape Ferguson headquarters in April this year. Made of enduring galvanised steel, the tower is approximately 13m tall and weighs 18T, including 6T of ballast to hold it in place against future cyclones. Ready since September, both tide and weather conditions had to be perfect to safely install the large structure.
Since the destruction of the previous tower, a temporary buoy with weather sensors has continued to report localised data for Myrmidon Reef, minimising data loss. This new permanent tower will replace the buoy as an equipment platform, providing stable space for sensors that contribute to the national Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS). Sensors will be installed early in the new year.
AIMS operates a number of marine-based weather stations around northern Australia. For up-to-the–minute information on reef weather, visit www.weather.aims.gov.au