Scheduled Release Date: 10 April 2017*
The Bureau of Meteorology is upgrading and extending the operating life of four radars (in Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney) in 2017; each radar will be offline for approximately six weeks.
The upgrades will occur during April–September 2017. The table below sets out the planned outages:
City Radar Scheduled Outage Alternative Radar Adelaide Buckland Park 10 Apr 17–29 May 17 Sellicks Hill Brisbane Mt. Stapylton 02 Aug 17–08 Sep 17 To be decided Melbourne Laverton 02 Aug 17–06 Sep 17 To be decided Sydney Terrey Hills 24 Aug 17–28 Sep 17 To be decided
* Subject to operational requirements at the time
Adelaide (Buckland Park) radar service improvement
Scheduled Release Date: 6 December 2016
From 6 December 2016 all radar products from the Adelaide (Buckland Park) weather radar will be available at a 6-minute update frequency, up from the previous 10-minute sequence. The maximum range for reflectivity data will be increased to 225 km. A downtime of several hours is expected while this change is made.
Products will be available at: http://www.bom.gov.au/products/IDR643.loop.shtml after the change.
Gympie (Mt.Kanigan) radar service improvement
Scheduled Release Date: 5 December 2016
The Gympie (Mt.Kanigan) radar will deliver new products at higher resolution and increased frequency from 5 December 2016. Accumulated rainfall over the past 6, 30 and 60 minutes will be added, as well as radar reflectivity on a 64 km range view and Doppler velocity on a 128 km range view. All products will have a 6-minute update frequency. Subject to weather conditions, a short downtime will be expected while this change is made.
Products will continue to be available at: http://www.bom.gov.au/products/IDR083.loop.shtml after the change.
Upgrade to the Tide Prediction portal
Scheduled Release Date: 6 December 2016
On 6 December 2016, the Bureau's tide prediction portal will be upgraded to include more accurate predictions for around 300 locations. These locations known as "supplementary locations" prior to this upgrade, only provide tide times and are of a lesser quality. This upgrade will result in all locations, around 700, each with their own tide prediction heights and times.
Updated Severe Weather and Severe Thunderstorm Warning Service for WA and NT
Scheduled Date: 25 October 2016
The Bureau is improving the Severe Weather and Severe Thunderstorm Warning services for Western Australia and the Northern Territory. Previously, warnings for severe weather and severe thunderstorm events were described using text-only updates. The new service will include a graphical representation of the warnings to better convey which areas are at threat of severe weather or severe thunderstorms. This completes the national roll-out of graphical severe weather and severe thunderstorm warnings.
See latest warnings at www.bom.gov.au/australia/warnings
Cessation of stand-alone numerical weather prediction chart images in PNG format
Scheduled Date: 8 August 2016
As part of a transition to new chart generation technology, the Bureau of Meteorology will be ceasing stand-alone .png versions of numerical weather prediction charts delivered via FTP. The same charts will continue to be made available as .tar files via the same service.
Products affected are IDY20000-IDY20301 in .png format.
For further information, please email email@example.com.
Updated Severe Weather Warning Service for VIC and TAS
Scheduled release: 28 July 2016
The Bureau is improving the Severe Weather Warning service for Victoria and Tasmania. Previously, warnings for severe weather events were described using text-only updates. The new service will include a graphical representation of the warning to better convey which areas are at threat of severe weather. Victoria and Tasmania will join South Australia, New South Wales and Queensland with the graphical severe weather warnings. Similar improvements to Western Australia and the Northern Territory are planned by the end of 2016.
See latest warnings at bom.gov.au/australia/warnings
Changes to UV Index forecast products
Scheduled Release Date: 21 July 2016
From 21 July 2016 the Bureau's UV Index forecasts are changing.
The 'UV Alert times' in routine weather forecasts will change to 'Sun protection times' in line with the Cancer Council's recommendation, for example "Sun protection 9:50 am to 4:10 pm, UV Index predicted to reach 10 [Very High]".
The UV Index forecast graphs will be replaced by a new service inside our forecast viewer 'MetEye' with daily maximum and 3 hourly maps of UV Index. This will replace the UV index graphs (bell curves).
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.