The wind forecasts are generated automatically by computer models and updated twice a day at around 6 am and 6 pm EST. The 'Day 1' and 'Day 2' wind forecast is from the Bureau of Meteorology's high resolution weather forecast model. The 'Days 3 - 7' wind forecasts are based on data from the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts.
The forecast wind speed and direction is presented on a national colour coded map that can be clicked to link to state and territory views and northern and southern area maps for the larger states. Views are also available for the capital city local waters areas. The wind speed in knots, is indicated by the colours shown in the legend, as well as by the arrow size. The arrow sizes show the relative wind speed for each map, with the longest length scaled to represent the highest wind speed. Wind direction is indicated by the arrow direction. The start of the arrow is the direction that the wind is blowing from. The arrow point shows the direction the wind is blowing to. For example an arrow pointing upwards is blowing from the South to the North.
The Day 1 and Day 2 wind forecast maps can be animated by using the controls above the image. Animation controls enable play, stop, step forward, step back and animation speed buttons, as well as a button that can be dragged with your mouse, to control the sequence. These maps are in 3 hourly intervals.
Wind forecast maps from Day 3, up to 7 days ahead are available
in 6 hourly intervals. The animation feature is not available
for the 3 to 7 day forecast due to the large number of images.
Use the 'Earlier' or 'Later' buttons, or the time selection
menu to step through the forecast.
The forecast time and date is below the maps, as well as the time of issue and the next routine forecast update. Australian Eastern Standard Time (EST) is used for the national map. State and territory maps use local times.
How good are the wind forecasts?
Many activities are impacted by the wind. The lightest areas indicate lower wind speeds, and the more intensely coloured areas indicate the higher wind speeds. The wind forecasts are for average wind speeds at the standard height of 10 metres above sea level.
Wind speeds usually increase with height above the sea-surface.
Gusts are increases in wind speed lasting for just a few seconds. The speeds are typically 30 to 50 per cent higher than the average wind speed, but stronger gusts are likely in the vicinity of showers, thunderstorms and frontal systems.
Graph showing the wind gust speed compared with average wind speed.
The numerical computer models used to create the wind forecasts are:
- Day 1 and Day 2 wind forecasts: Based on data from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology ACCESS high resolution model on a 10 kilometre grid.
- Days 3 - 7 wind forecasts: Based on data from the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecast model on a 55 kilometre grid.