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The Hon Peter Garrett AM MP
Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts

Next stage of $30 million upgrade to Weather Forecasts launched

Media release
11 December 2009
PG/395

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Environment Minister Peter Garrett today launched the next phase of the Australian Bureau of Meteorology's $30.5 million Next Generation Forecast and Warning System, officially turning on the new system across Victoria.

“This is a major step forward for the Bureau of Meteorology's web site that will immediately benefit Victorians and ultimately improve web-based forecast services for all parts of Australia.”

The Bureau is planning for the Next Generation Forecast and Warning System to be rolled out nationwide based on the successful pilot in Victoria.

In Victoria, the Bureau will now supplement text-based weather forecasts with interactive maps that will give indicative weather forecasts and observations as the final stage of the Next Generation Forecast and Warning System pilot implementation.

“From today a new web viewer, known as the Forecast Explorer, will give point and click access to detailed weather information anywhere in Victoria,” said Minister Garrett.

“Users will be able to select any location in Victoria from the clickable maps and obtain seven day forecasts for elements such as maximum and minimum temperatures, wind speed and direction and daily rainfall,” he said.

“The new system, combined with the Bureau's warning systems, will be especially useful for Victorian communities in the event of heavy rain, floods or bushfires and help emergency services prepare appropriately and plan their response.”

Minister Garrett said that the Next Generation Forecast and Warning System would bring a major enhancement of weather services to the community.

“The Next Generation Forecast and Warning System will bring a level of consistent forecast service across regional and urban Australia. The Bureau's popular web site will have mapbased forecasts rather than a reliance on text based products.

“Today's improvements to the Bureau's website are a first step into a totally new world of weather information which will ultimately become available for the whole country,” Minister Garrett said.

Minister Garrett announced that the next state to receive the benefits of the Next Generation Forecast and Warning System will be New South Wales with work on implementing the new system for the state expected to be completed by the end of 2010.

Commonwealth of Australia