Weather Bureau launches MetEye forecast

Jo FulwoodCountryman

A Bureau of Meteorology weather service launched across Australia last week will provide detailed forecasting information down to a 6sqkm grid.

The service will provide temperatures, wind speed, wind direction and rainfall predications in three-hourly time blocks.

MetEye, the bureau's new interactive, animated seven-day weather forecasting system has numerous applications and will be a handy tool for farmers, emergency service workers and spraying and spreading contractors.

Bureau spokesman Neil Bennett said the new technology meant farmers simply had to input their longitude and latitude information to receive accurate, detailed forecasts.

"It will mean that all farmers are able to get specific information for their location," he said.

Mr Bennett said the new technology could be applied right across the State, so farmers who previously could not access relevant localised forecasting information were now able to view predictions for their specific farming enterprises.

"It allows them to plan and make decisions for the week ahead," he said.

"At the moment, when we talk about our district forecasts, they are quite coarse in their descriptions.

"With this new service if you know the longitude and latitude of your farm, you can see the rain moving up towards you or the wind shifts for spraying.

"You can also tell in advance if there is going to be frost and this then allows farmers to go straight to their frost-prone areas and cut that crop for hay.

"It gives them a little bit more of a heads up."

Launched last Wednesday by former Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke, MetEye was developed as part of the Next Generation Forecast and Warning System, a $30 million upgrade of weather services through BOM and funded by the Federal Government.

Visit www.bom.gov.au/australia/meteye/

It gives them a little bit more of a heads up. Neil Bennett

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails