The Australian Bureau of Meteorology is giving Australians greater access to the world’s most extensive weather and climate observation network through a new app that has already attracted 10 million user sessions in two weeks.
Officially launched today, the new app gives Australians in any location access to hourly forecasts over the next three days (replacing three-hourly forecasts for the coming day), pan and zoom radars with individual location markers, current wind speeds in km/h and knots, and a four-day UV index.
Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley said that weather information is a vital service to regional and metropolitan Australians and that the Morrison Government is investing significantly in new infrastructure, radar and other observation technology as well as the best ways to keep the public informed.
“Having reliable weather information at your finger-tips is not a luxury for many people, it can be vital,” Minister Ley said.
“The Bureau operates one of the world’s most extensive weather and climate observation networks, and this app places that network directly in the hands of Australians.
“The importance people place on accessing that information is underlined by the fact that 3.3 million devices in Australia have the weather app installed and that in the last two weeks of its trial period 1.5 million people have upgraded to take advantage of its new services.
“At the heart of these improvements is the Australian Government’s commitment to strengthening weather services right across the country.
“The new app comes as the Morrison Government continues to invest in and improve the Bureau’s systems and infrastructure to deliver critical services that keep Australians safe and protects livelihoods,” Minister Ley said.
New features of the upgraded BOM Weather app include:
- enhanced optimisation for better use on small screens including tablets
- localised hourly forecasts for the following three days, replacing the current three-hourly forecasts for the coming day
- improved usability of the radar function, including a new user-location marker so people can pinpoint where they are on a radar map, zoom-in on a location and pan across the entire radar network
- better access for people with a vision impairment, offering resizable text and screen reader compatibility with the ‘accessibility’ functions on smart phones and tablets
- severe weather alerts based on the user’s current location
- current wind speeds in km/h and knots
- ‘weather mood’ background (for example, sunny or rainy) and night-time mode
- four-day sun protection information and UV forecasts.