About Model Forecast Wind


The wind forecasts displayed in these pages are generated automatically by computer models, without human input or manual quality control. The maps display forecast wind speed and direction, and are 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 on a 10 kilometre grid (see About the ACCESS model). The wind forecasts for Day 3 to Day 7 are based on data from the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts on a 55 kilometre grid (see http://www.ecmwf.int/).

Model forecast wind maps

Wind speed

The average wind speed, in knots, is indicated by the colours shown in the legend. Arrow size also indicates wind speed; the arrow sizes show the relative wind speed for each map, with the longest length scaled to represent the highest wind speed.

Wind forecasts are for 10-minute average wind speeds at the standard height of 10 metres above sea level. Wind speed usually increases with height above the ground or sea surface. Please be aware wind gusts can be a further 40 per cent stronger than the average wind speed, with even stronger gusts likely in the vicinity of showers, thunderstorms and frontal systems.

Wind direction

Wind direction is indicated by the arrow direction. Winds are typically named for the direction they blow from—e.g. a southerly wind is a wind blowing from the south. An arrow pointing upwards Example of wind arrow showing direction is blowing from the south to the north and indicates a southerly wind.

Map navigation

Small sample image of wind map The forecast wind speed and direction is displayed on a national map. Clicking on a region of the map, or using the drop down "Region" menu above the map, will zoom in to a State or Territory view, or northern and southern area maps for the larger States. Views are also available for the capital city local waters areas.

Map animation

Forecast wind maps are provided at 3-hourly intervals for Day 1, Day 2 and Day 3; and at 6-hourly intervals for Day 4 through Day 7. The timestep of the map currently selected is indicated by dark grey shading.

All of the timesteps on the timeline above the map are selectable. You can move forwards (or back) in time through the maps, out to 7 days; select a different day or time by clicking on it.

You can also display a loop of the maps as an animation. The play button above the map will move forwards in time through the maps. It automatically loops back to the beginning when it reaches the end. You can also use the forwards and back buttons to step through the sequence one map at a time.

Important note on weather warnings and operational wind forecast maps

These wind forecasts should be used together with the Bureau's national weather and warnings and marine forecast and warning services. As the maps displayed on these pages are produced directly from computer models, they may not always reflect official forecasts, especially in the vicinity of weather fronts, tropical cyclones or in rapidly changing weather conditions.

The Bureau's official wind forecasts for land and near-shore areas (nominally to an extent of 60 nautical miles) can found on MetEye. The MetEye forecast maps have been adjusted by meteorologists to better represent expected weather. These maps are derived from ADFD grids and represent the official Bureau forecasts which are routinely verified.

Wind and cyclone warnings

It is important to check warnings and tropical cyclone information when strong winds are forecast or when circular patterns of wind arrows are evident in tropical areas.

Image showing circular pattern of wind arrows off the Queensland coast