Department of the Environment

Archived media releases and speeches

Senator the Hon Don Farrell

Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water

Next generation weather forecasting for Western Australia

Media release
31 October 2012

The Bureau of Meteorology is today releasing a major upgrade to its forecast and warning services for Western Australia.

Announcing the changes, Senator Don Farrell, Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water, said the Next Generation Forecast and Warning System (NexGenFWS) would see 62 new locations in Western Australia benefit from a level of service previously only available in Perth.

"This investment in improving the Bureau's forecasting technology will enable it to deliver seven-day weather forecasts for a far greater number of locations. This has real benefits for communities, particularly in rural and remote locations," Senator Farrell said.

"NexGenFWS will also provide more detailed forecast information, on temperature, rainfall, winds and fire danger.

"In a first for Australia, the system has been further extended to incorporate tropical weather systems, including tropical cyclones. This will provide communities with more comprehensive information to allow them to better prepare for the risks associated with tropical weather," Senator Farrell said.

The Next Generation Forecast and Warning System represents a $30.5 million investment by the Federal Government and has already been successfully rolled out in Victoria, New South Wales, Tasmania and South Australia, with the northern tropical states of Queensland and the Northern Territory to follow today's launch in Western Australia.

The major changes to land and marine forecast services in Western Australia include:

  • 62 new locations receiving 7-day icon and summary forecasts;
  • Of the 62 new locations, 15 locations will receive a more detailed 7-day worded forecast in addition to the icon and summary forecast;
  • An enhanced icon and worded 7-day forecast for Perth Metro, and will include rainfall probability and rainfall range information for the first day;
  • An increase in the number of coastal waters zones from 12 to 14 (the smaller zones will allow for more detailed forecasts);
  • An expansion to the Perth Local Waters forecast area, and;
  • A new 4-day forecast for the Melville Waters section of the Swan River.

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