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Media Release
The Hon Dr Sharman Stone
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Federal Member for Murray

9 July 2004

New window to the weather for wide brown land

Dorothea Mackeller would have loved it and so too will devotees of this wide brown land.

Dr Sharman Stone, Parliamentary Secretary with responsibility for the Australian Bureau of Meteorology said the Bureau's website, which records between 300 and 400 million hits a month, had been upgraded.

"Despite being Australia's most popular weather web site, the most popular government site and the most popular education site (based on Hitwise survey, May 2004), the Bureau is continuing its efforts to improve the relevance and usefulness of its web pages in providing a composite picture of the diverse and unique weather of Australia," Dr Stone said.

"The upgrade includes new arrangements for each state, territory and region, including the Antarctic, and will make forecast and observation data easier to find and access across the length and breadth of Australia as well as global weather information.

"It is now possible to access a standard coastal weather forecast for up to four days for all of Australia's 37,000 km of coastline and to view up to 72 hours of observational data for most of the Bureau's 519 Automatic Weather Stations around the nation.

"And intrepid Antarctic web explorers can also access hourly information on the temperature, wind speed, amount of precipitation and visibility direct from the Bureau's Meteorological offices at the Antarctic stations of Casey, Davis and Mawson and from Macquarie Island in the sub-Antarctic."

Dr Stone said a new feature of the upgraded website was the inclusion of Agricultural Observations Bulletins for key agricultural centres in every state and territory.

"Life on the land relies heavily on accepting what comes from the sky," Dr Stone said.

"The inclusion on the Bureau's website of Agricultural Observations Bulletins will give a snapshot of weather conditions over the past 24 hours and will be particularly useful for farmers, irrigators and horticulturalists and other areas of the agricultural community.

"Bulletins are produced just after 9 am each day and include information on temperature, rainfall and solar radiation for all sites and may also include Delta-T readings - essential if you are planning on spraying crops - and soil temperature and evaporation readings."

The new Agricultural Observations Bulletins will be displayed in tables that have been developed to be accessible to as wide a cross section of the World Wide Web community as possible.

Commonwealth of Australia