MELBOURNE LAVERTON RADAR UPGRADE
PUBLISHED 18 AUGUST, 2017
Melbourne's Laverton radar will undergo a mid-life upgrade, extending its operating life by a further ten years. To achieve this, the Laverton radar will be offline from the 25 August to early October.
The upgrade will improve forecasters ability to 'see' weather coming, especially hail, rain, snow and even bushfire debris.
Currently, the radar sends out a horizontal pulse, identifying rain, but it can't differentiate between rain, snow or hail. The upgrade will provide forecasters with a more detailed picture by sending out both horizontal and vertical pulses. This allows forecasters to measure the size and shape of the object, so they will know if rain, snow or hail is heading our way.
During the upgrade, forecasters will continue to draw on observations from a range of sources including satellites, lightning detectors, automatic weather stations, flood warning networks as well as nearby radar at Broadmeadows.
While the Laverton radar is offline, Victorians can use the Broadmeadows radar as an alternative.
We are asking everyone to be patient while this upgrade is underway, it's an important step for BOM to continually improve services to the public.
See information sheet here
Watch the video here.
Another tool available to the public is MetEye.
This provides information on a map about current weather, rainfall, wind, waves, temperature, humidity and a UV index forecast.
MetEye also provides significant weather forecasts for thunderstorms, snow, rain, fog and frost.
Additionally, there's also satellite imagery from Himawari-8.
This technology scans Australia every 10 minutes and users can zoom into an area for a closer look.
See here for ten tips for a more detailed weather forecast
Mapping groundwater-dependent ecosystems
PUBLISHED 21 July, 2017
Groundwater is an essential water source for many rural communities and agricultural areas, but did you know groundwater may also be sustaining your local surface water supply?
Many rivers, landscapes, plants and animals need groundwater to support their health in dry times—or all of the time. These are known as groundwater-dependent ecosystems. Being dependent on an underground, ‘hidden’ water source, means these ecosystems can be vulnerable. So why do they matter and how can they be protected?
Groundwater-dependent ecosystems can have ecological, social and cultural values, as well as significant economic value. Many agricultural activities depend on water supplied by rivers, which in turn can depend on inflows from groundwater, especially during dry periods. Managing our groundwater resources needs a balanced approach, ensuring the current and future needs of all users of the resource are taken into account.
The Groundwater Dependent Ecosystems Atlas is a national dataset and web-based mapping application to inform groundwater management and planning. You can visualise, analyse and download information about groundwater-dependent ecosystems in your area without needing specialised software.
Find out more about this groundwater mapping tool, and access it and other groundwater resources through the Bureau of Meteorology's groundwater information suite.
WATER STORAGE APP AND WATER INFORMATION DASHBOARDS
PUBLISHED 21 JULY, 2017
There are now simpler ways to access water storage and water markets information around the country.
The Bureau of Meteorology's water information dashboards give you access to water storage and water markets information via a single web page.
They've also upgraded the BOM Water Storage smartphone application—first released in 2010—and it is now available for iPhone and Android users.
The water storage dashboard and smartphone application continue to provide nationally consistent and directly comparable information surface water stores across Australia, giving you an independent and transparent understanding of the nation's water resources. The upgraded website provides improved search functions, and interactive graphs.
The water markets dashboard supports more efficient water markets, with improved public access to information that supports trading decisions. This dashboard replaces the former National Water Markets website. Users continue to have access to existing water trade information—but now have access to a longer record and better quality data.
The water markets dashboard also provides greater spatial resolution and trade information. This includes the ability to see water trades in more than 1000 regions across Australia.
Check out the new water information dashboards and download the free app for iPhone or Android
NEW LIGHTNING VIEWER
The Bureau of Meteorology has released a 'cracking' new lightning viewer available at satview.bom.gov.au
This lightning detection service has been added as a viewing option or 'layer' for the Bureau’s high definition Himawari satellite cloud viewer and is updated every 10 minutes.
The Bureau's General Manager Data Dr Anthony Rea said the addition of a near real-time information lightning service can help people seek safety in advance of an approaching thunderstorm.
“Lightning is dangerous. It is associated with thunderstorms and can occur well away from the storm’s centre," Dr Rea said.
“Adding the new lightning layer to the satellite infrared cloud image will also help Australians living in remote areas with limited radar coverage to identify severe weather and track thunderstorms."
The Bureau’s viewer shows the frequency of lightning ranging from two to more than 20 strikes every ten minutes. It also shows the most recent four hours of lightning data consistent with the satellite cloud image updates.
The lightning coverage is Australia-wide and extends into the surrounding high seas.
Users can zoom into to an area only slightly bigger than that of New South Wales. They can also select viewing options that add coastal and state boundaries, as well as roads and cities, to show where lightning has struck.
An animation of the new lightning detection viewer is available at www.media.bom.gov.au/download