Frequently Asked Questions
Click or tap a question to expand the answer.
If your question is not answered here, please submit your question into the feedback form available in the app's menu.
- What are the app's features?
- The app contains the weather information most people want to access quickly and easily, so they can plan their day. At a glance, you can view the current conditions, forecasts, the rain radar and warnings for your current or favourite location, and any location across Australia.
- How do I download the Bureau's weather app?
- The BOM Weather app is free to download and is available from the iTunes Apple App Store or Google Play App Store.
- What operating systems are supported?
- BOM Weather app is compatible with most smartphones and tablets using:
- iOS 9 and above for iPhone; and
- Android 4.2 and above
- What do the weather icons mean?
- You can access an explanation of the weather icons used in the Bureau's forecasts on this webpage.
- How do I save my favourite locations?
- Tap the star next to the location name on the main weather screen—the star will turn white. You can access all of your favourites from the side menu. To get to the side menu, tap the three horizontal lines at the top left of the main screen.
To un-favourite a location, tap the star again—the white fill will disappear.
- Why can't the BOM Weather app find my location?
- Check that you have enabled your phone's location service (it's usually found in your phone's settings). Alternatively, you can search for your location name or postcode and the name will be displayed.
- In some cases when you use the ‘current location’ button, the app may not recognise the name of your location and will instead show your latitude and longitude.
- If you are outside Australia, you will not be able to access the app.
If the issue persists, please provide feedback using the form in the app's menu.
- What happens if I don't allow location services?
- You can get your local forecast even if you don't activate location services. Simply search for your location and set it as a favourite, by tapping the star. You can quickly access all your favourite locations, as well as capital cities, from the side menu.
- Why is the location shown different to my actual location?
- If you select 'current location' the BOM Weather app will provide forecasts for the 6 km grid square you are currently in. Your 6 km grid square may cover both smaller and larger suburbs, and the app may default to the nearby larger suburb. If the 'current location' is not the location you want, search for your location of interest by entering the area name or postcode in the side menu.
- Why do some locations show more information than others?
The weather observations displayed for your location are taken from the nearest or most appropriate automatic weather station based on distance and elevation. Not all weather stations collect the same observations, and the app will only show the observations from a single weather station. For example, some weather stations do not collect humidity (also used to generate the 'feels like temperature'), wind, or rainfall observations, so these observations will not be available. If your location is more than 100km away from a weather station, no observations are displayed.
The availability of the short forecast text (below the weather icon) also varies by location. This text is not provided for every location, but is available for 650 locations nationally, including major regional and metropolitan centres.
The Bureau produces seven-day long text forecasts for major towns and cities. For other towns and districts, long text forecasts are issued for four days, and daily summary forecasts (maximum and minimum temperature, chance of rain and a weather icon) for the rest of the week.
For more information about the different types of forecasts, check out this blog article.
- What does 'Chance of any rain' and 'Possible rainfall' mean?
'Chance of any rain' (%) describes the likelihood of receiving at least 0.2mm (the smallest amount that can be measured) at that location from midnight to midnight. It answers the question 'Will it rain today?'. If this piece of information appears, the answer is yes, there is a 25%, 50%, 90% etc chance of rain today.
'Possible rainfall' (mm) is a range for the expected amount of rain. This answers the question 'If it does rain, how much will there be?'. The first value in the range shows the mostly likely amount of rain (with a 50% chance of this amount or more). The higher value is there to indicate that on some days, much more rain is expected, but it's less likely (only 25% chance of this upper amount or more).
So, looking at an example, a forecast for 'Chance of any rain' 90% with 'Possible rainfall' 4-10mm' means that there is a 90% chance of rain for that day. And if it does rain, there is a 50% chance of at least 4mm but only a 25% chance of more than 10mm. Remember, these are two separate pieces of information and should not to be run together (i.e. it doesn't mean there is a 90% chance of receiving between 4 and 10mm of rain).
To better understand the Bureau's rainfall forecast check out our blog.
- What does 'feels like' mean?
- A 'feels like' temperature is calculated by taking into account wind and humidity which generates the ‘apparent temperature’—or how warm you might feel. For more about the feels like temperature check out this blog and video.
- Are the observations for my location correct?
The Bureau operates a network of around 700 automatic weather stations, providing near real-time observations. Sometimes your experience (or backyard or community weather station) may not match with what's being reported at the closest Bureau weather station. Some weather phenomena can be very localised. For example, rain often falls in a patchy pattern with some locations receiving much more rain than other places nearby. Wind speed and direction, and temperature, can also be influenced by local topographic features and elevation.
When using the BOM Weather app, the observations shown are from a single weather station. The station is chosen based on a combination of distance, elevation, and the comprehensiveness of the weather elements measured at the station. The weather station may not be in the same area as the forecast. The location of the weather station does not affect the forecast for your location. Unfortunately, due to the large size of our country, the nearest Bureau automatic weather station may be quite far away from your location.
You can find out which weather station is used for a location by using the Bureau's new beta weather forecast service which provides a label for the observations in the top right corner of the page. You can also search for your location in MetEye and scroll between different weather stations nearby to your location.
- How do I view warnings?
- Tap the yellow triangle icon at the top right hand side of the main weather screen. You can also find a link to the warnings in the side menu. Summaries provided for each state and territory are updated regularly, and you can see what time the warning was issued. Warnings in the BOM Weather app, and on the mobile and full website, are the same and are issued and updated simultaneously.
- Where do I view sunrise and sunset times?
- This is available by clicking on today's weather icon, or any of the daily forecast icons, displaying a pop-up with more information. Sunrise and sunset times are available for every location, for all seven days.
- How can I view the UV forecast?
- This is available by clicking on today's weather icon. Maximum UV and sun protection times are displayed in the pop-up box. The app provides the UV forecast for the current day (or if checked at night, for the next day).
- How do I view a different radar?
- You can view a different rain radar by searching for a location nearby to that radar in the menu.
- Can I get marine forecasts?
- The app does not currently provide marine forecasts or observations. You can access this information here: www.bom.gov.au/marine
- Where is the climate information?
- The app does not currently provide climate information. You can access this information here: www.bom.gov.au/climate
- Is the weather information in the app different to the Bureau's website?
The Bureau's app, mobile website, and full website use the same weather information. All information is refreshed when you wake or open the app. On our websites, refreshing doesn't happen automatically-–to check you are viewing the latest weather information refresh the webpage.
You may notice differences if you are comparing a forecast for your specific location (e.g. a suburban location) with your capital city forecast. Please refer to the FAQ 'Why do some locations show more information than others?'
- How does the Bureau weather app differ to other weather apps?
As Australia’s official source of weather information, you can be sure the information you receive from the Bureau of Meteorology is reliable and current—whether you're using our website, mobile weather website, or the BOM Weather app.
- Is the app compatible with iPads and tablets?
- Some tablets may display the app, however, it is designed to be compatible with smartphones and therefore may not be optimized for tablets and other devices.
- Can I provide feedback on the weather app?
- Yes. We encourage users to provide feedback that will inform future services. A feedback link is provided in the main menu and we encourage you to tell us what features you need the most, and what you think about the app.
- If you're having trouble running the app:
Please try the following:
- Restart the app or device.
- Check you have the latest version of the app.
- Check your device has the latest software.
Try un-installing and then re-installing the app from the App Store or Google Play store.