§ Mr. Foulkes
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on what date he expects the three weather radar stations in Scotland to become operational; and to what extent the stations will adequately cover all of Scotland, including the Shetland Islands.
§ Mr. Sainsbury
[holding answer 22 February 1988]: Discussions are proceeding between officials of the Scottish Office and the Ministry of Defence and, as indicated in my reply to the hon. Member for Cunninghame, North (Mr. Wilson) on 8 December 1987, at column 153, the Hebrides, the Highlands north-west of Aberdeen and the Edinburgh or Glasgow areas are likely to prove the most suitable sites. Data from stations placed in these areas, when taken with other information available to the Meteorological Office, are expected to lead to improved short-period weather forecasts and provide timely estimates of precipitation at the surface throughout Scotland. Radar coverage will not extend north of about 59 deg. north. However, alternative methods of measuring precipitation falling on the Shetland and Orkney islands are available. Present plans are that installation would take place in the early 1990s.