Changes to manual observations on 28 April, 2016
Scheduled Release Date: 28 April 2016
Improvements in the Bureau of Meteorology's automated observation systems are delivering more frequent observations to rural and regional Australians. Many observations which were taken daily or once every three hours are now taken continuously, and the number of forecasts and other products will continue to increase once the Bureau's new supercomputer comes online in mid-2016, enhancing data analysis capabilities.
Due to advances in automated observations and improving technology, the Bureau undertook an internal review of its observations network and field offices around the country. Through this review, the Bureau identified duplication between manual and automated observations in several locations, as well as several types of observations which have few or no users. As part of improving its practices, the Bureau is ceasing manual recording of observations which are also taken by automated systems, and ceasing manual observations which have few or no users.
As a result, from Thursday 28 April staff at many Bureau of Meteorology field offices will move from shift work to day work, typically working standard office hours from Monday to Friday.
These changes do not affect the Bureau's forecasting and warnings services.
A list of manual observations ceasing due to minimal usage is available below.
Information for rural and regional Australia is available through the following Bureau services:
- Bureau of Meteorology Water and the Land pages provide an integrated suite of meteorological information for people involved in primary production, natural resource management, industry, trade and commerce.
- Users who require cloud cover information can access the Bureau's Himawari-8 Satellite Viewer for cloud images every 10 minutes right across Australia.
- The Bureau provides a range of solar products to help people wanting soalr energy information.
- Users of sunlight hours can access the Bureau's solar exposure product.
- MetEye™ delivers a high quality seven-day forecast service at six-kilometre intervals right across the country.
Specialist services for the aviation sector will continue.
Staff at field offices located at aerodromes will continue to provide manual observations input to Aviation Weather Reports while they are on duty.
Manual observations to cease:
Manual soil temperature observations are ceasing in: Charleville, Townsville, Mount Isa, Rockhampton, Weipa, Cobar, Moree, Woomera, Mount Gambier, Alice Springs, Gove, Cocos Island, Esperance, Halls Creek, Kalgoorlie, Broome, Meekatharra, Port Hedland and Albany.
Manual terrestrial (soil surface) minimum temperature (Note: This is different to air temperature measurements, which are the daily maximum and minimum temperatures most people use on a daily basis) is ceasing in: Charleville, Townsville, Mount Isa, Rockhampton, Weipa, Cobar, Moree, Williamtown, Mount Gambier, Alice Springs, Gove, Cocos Island, Esperance, Halls Creek, Kalgoorlie, Broome, Meekatharra, Port Hedland, Albany.
Manual sunshine observations are ceasing in Townsville, Mount Isa, Mackay, Weipa, Moree, Williamtown, Norfolk Island, Wagga Wagga, Woomera, Mount Gambier, Alice Springs, Gove, Broome and Albany. (Note: For many applications, the Bureau's solar exposure products can be used instead of sunshine hours.)
Cloud observations are ceasing in Halls Creek.
Visibility observations are ceasing in Halls Creek and Mackay.
Text descriptions of present weather are ceasing in Charleville, Longreach, Mackay, Cobar, Wagga Wagga, Woomera, Mount Gambier, Gove, Esperance, Geraldton, Halls Creek, Meekatharra and Albany.
West Takone radar upgrade
Scheduled Release Date: 5 April 2016
Service improvements to the West Takone, Tasmania, weather watch radar are complete and new operational changes commenced from 5 April 2016.
More detail on the West Takone radar upgrade.
Decommissioning of MTSAT satellite
Scheduled Release Date: 24 March 2016
In 2015 the Japanese Meteorological Agency (JMA) launched its new Himawari-8 geostationary satellite. This new satellite delivers high-resolution weather imagery for the Australian domain every ten minutes. Images from Himawari-8 can be viewed through the Bureau's high-definition satellite viewer.
As a result, the JMA is decommissioning their previous geostationary satellite, MTSAT, on 24 March 2016.
Bureau of Meteorology images generated from MTSAT will cease on this date, though images supporting the Bureau's low-definition satellite viewer will continue, utilising Himawari-8 data.