Frequently asked questions

Click or tap a heading to expand the answer.


If your question is not answered here, use the feedback form within the app to submit your comments. If you're having difficulty accessing the app, use our feedback form on this website.

Operating systems
The BOM Weather app is compatible with most smartphones and tablets using:

  • Apple iOS 12.4 and above
  • Android 6 and above.
Widgets

A widget allows you to see information from the BOM Weather app on your home or lock screen, without opening the app.


We offer widgets for iOS and Android devices:


  • Lock and home screen widgets are available for iOS. Home screen widgets are available on devices with iOS 14 and above. For lock screen widgets, you need iOS 16 and above on your iPhone.
  • A home screen widget is available for Android.

You can install more than one widget. For example, one that moves with your location, and another for a set location.


For better widget performance, set location permissions to 'Always'.


How to add your BOM Weather widget


iPhone or iPad home screen


  • If you have just installed or updated the BOM Weather app, open it before adding a widget.
  • Long-press on an empty space on your home screen.
  • Select + at the top of the screen.
  • Search and select BOM Weather.
  • Choose your widget and select Add widget.
  • Tap the widget to set location or, if you have tapped your home screen, long-press the widget to Edit.
  • Select Use my current location or Search location.
  • Tap your home screen to finish.
  • To move the widget on your home screen, long-press the widget and select Edit home screen.

iPhone lock screen


  • If you have just installed or updated the BOM Weather app, open it before adding a widget.
  • Long-press on an empty space on your lock screen.
  • Select Customise and tap your lock screen image.
  • Select + Add Widgets or tap one of your existing widgets to add another.
  • Select BOM Weather from list of apps.
  • Tap or drag your chosen widget to put it on your lock screen.
  • Tap the widget once to set location.It automatically shows your current location if you have allowed location access in device settings.
  • Close the widget list and select Done.
  • Tap your customised screen to finish.

To change location settings later:


  • Long-press your lock screen
  • Select Customise and your lock screen.
  • Double tap the widget.
  • Select Use my current location or Search location.
  • Close the widget lists and select Done. Tap your customised screen to finish.

Android home screen


  • Long-press on an empty space on your home screen.
  • Tap on Widgets or Add widgets.
  • Search and select BOM Weather.
  • Tap Add.
  • Select Use my current location or Search location.
  • Tap Add Widget.
  • To move the widget on your home screen, long-press and drag the widget.
Add or remove favourite locations

Add favourite location


  1. On the home screen, tap search.
  2. Type the first few letters of the location name.
  3. Select the location you want add to favourites. This takes you to the page for that location.
  4. Tap search again. The location now appears in your Recent list.
  5. Tap the star next to the location in the list.
  6. Select Save to add the location to your Favourites.

Your favourites are near the top of the location list when you tap search.


Remove favourite location


  1. On the home screen, tap search.
  2. Your Favourites are near the top of the list of locations.
  3. Tap the star or the cross next to the location you want to remove.
  4. Select Remove or Delete to take the location out of your favourites.
Location information and location not found

Selecting a location


The app needs a location to offer you weather.


If you don't allow location services you need to search for a location using a place name or postcode.


Location not found


If our widget is unable to find your location, check the location permissions on your device. You may need to give permission for the app and widget to use your location. Also see Widgets on this page.


If your location is not found when you use search in the app, let us know using the feedback form within the app.


Why some locations have more details


The weather observations for your location come from the nearest or most appropriate automatic weather station. We do not use data from any portable weather stations in the app.


The app shows observations from only one weather station. It will not show observations when:


  • your location is more than 100 km from a weather station
  • the data is not collected at the selected weather station. For example, some weather stations do not collect wind, rain or humidity observations. These are used to generate the 'feels like' temperature.

Short forecast text (found below the weather icon) also depends on the location. This text is available for 650 locations, including major regional and metropolitan centres.


We issue 7-day long text forecasts for major towns and cities. For other towns and districts, we issue:


  • long text forecasts for 4 days
  • daily summary forecasts – maximum and minimum temperature, chance of rain and a weather icon – for the rest of the week.
Map

Map crashes on Android devices


We're aware of technical issues with the map on some Android devices (up to Android 12). If the app crashes when you open the map, update to the latest version. It includes fixes for this issue.


Rain doesn't present smoothly


To present rain data quickly, the app may not process it all on first play. This means you may first see the rain data in a blocks or triangles.


This resolves as the app fully processes the data.


Past and future rain don't match


Past and future rain may look slightly different on the map at times.


The source of the data that the map presents changes midway, at the point marked Now.


It shifts from recorded rainfall records (observations from a weather station) to the forecast rain (from weather forecast models). Slight differences are to be expected.


Other factors affecting rain display


The rain map doesn't always accurately reflect what's going on in the atmosphere. This is especially true for tropical cyclones and severe weather events. For example:


  • The radar beam can lose power as it passes through very heavy rain. Rain further away may not show at all, or show as less intense.
  • Disruptions to internet can limit transfer of data from the radar to the map.
  • Such weather events are difficult to forecast.

The rain display from the point marked Now to +90 minutes is from weather forecast models. If the forecast is uncertain, the rain map may not match your experience.


For more about radar, see Radar Frequently Asked Questions.

Technical issues, app crashes and updates

Technical issues and crashes


Make sure you have the most recent version of the BOM Weather app. Many technical issues are resolved by updating to the most recent release.


To check if there is an update available:


  • on Android devices, go to 'My apps & games'
  • on iOS devices, go to the App store.

App updates and data/power use


We do regular updates to introduce new features requested by customers, fix performance issues and remove bugs.


An update can mean the app uses more data and power. This is necessary to keep the app reliable and meet customer requests. We try to limit the demands of each new release.


If you can't update to the latest version, you can find all our weather information at bom.gov.au.

Accuracy of weather information

Sometimes your experience – or backyard or community weather station – may not match what's recorded on the app or its widgets.


Our network of about 700 automatic weather stations provides near real-time observations. When you view a location's weather on the app, the observations shown are from a single weather station.


To see which station the app is using:


  • scroll down to the Last updated information at the end of your location page
  • tap the 'i' icon to find the station.

The weather station:


  • is selected based on distance and the range of weather elements it measures
  • may be up to 100 km from your location
  • may not be in the same area covered by the forecast shown on your device. The location of the weather station does not affect the forecast for your location.

Other factors


  • Some weather can be very localised. For example, rain often falls in a patchy pattern, so some locations get much more rain than places nearby. Wind speed and direction, and temperature can also be influenced by local topographic features and elevation.
  • We report on the accuracy of our forecasts and warnings every year in our Annual Report For details see Our Performance: Bureau Forecast Accuracy.
Changing the weather station for your location

The app selects a weather station to show on your device.


To see which station the app is using, scroll down to the Last updated information at the end of your location page. Tap the 'i' icon to find the station.


You can't change the station shown by the app but you can change the location you're viewing. A nearby location may use a different station or more closely match your conditions – for example, elevation or wind.


Also see Accuracy of weather observations on this page.

Warnings and warning notifications

Warnings for your location appear at the top of the app screen. Tap on the warning to read the details. Warnings in the app and bom.gov.au are the same, issued and updated simultaneously.


We issue warnings based on forecast districts, which are very big areas. This means some locations have warnings that seem less relevant – for example, an inland town may get a tsunami warning. You can choose which warning notifications you receive for each of your favourite locations.


Warning notifications


You can get notifications for up to 3 locations. Depending on your location, notifications are available for up to 9 weather warnings:


  • heatwave
  • tropical cyclone
  • fire weather
  • flood
  • marine weather
  • tsunami
  • coastal hazards – dangerous surf and abnormal tides
  • severe weather
  • severe thunderstorm.

Once enabled, a notification appears on your device screen when we issue a warning for your selected locations.


To get notifications:

  • go to Notifications in the main menu at the top right of the app
  • tap or click Select a location, then search for the location - a message at the bottom of the screen shows the app has saved your selection
  • use Add location to get notifications for up to 3 locations.

Choose warnings to receive for each of your locations:

  • go to Notifications in the main menu at the top right of the app
  • select the location
  • switch warnings on or off - a message at the bottom of the screen shows the app has saved your selection.

Change wind speed to knots or km/h

To change wind to km/h or knots:

  • tap or click Settings in the main menu at the top right of the app
  • select the wind speed measure (km/h or knots).

Different weather information on the app, website and devices

The BOM Weather app and bom.gov.au use the same weather information. This can be delivered by different pathways, so you may not see the same information at the same time.


All information is refreshed when you wake or open the app. On our websites, refresh the webpage to check you are viewing the latest weather information.


Phones or other devices can show different forecast information on the app, even though they are near each other. This can happen for several reasons, including:


  • data services – quality of internet connection can affect how quickly updates are delivered to each device
  • settings – you may have different settings on each device, affecting how your location is detected and the weather station used
  • location – forecasts are based on 6 km grids. It's possible for devices to show the same location but read from different grids within that area.

See Location information and location not found on this page.

How the BOM Weather app differs to other weather apps

When you use the BOM Weather app, you're getting information from Australia's official weather agency.


You can be sure the information is reliable and current – whether you're using our website or the app.


We report on the accuracy of our forecasts and warnings every year in our Annual Report. For details see Our Performance: Bureau Forecast Accuracy.

Download the BOM Weather app

The BOM Weather app is free to download. For iPhone and iPad, visit the App Store. For Android, visit the Google Play store.