View Full Version : Understanding the difference in various Web Based Weather Info Sites

13-01-2012, 05:13 PM
I noticed a quote on one of the posts wherein a member said he "always used so and so a site as it had much more accurate information" or something like that ................ than BOM Australia.

What many people don't know is that BOM Australia is the ONLY authorized source of weather information in Australia. So whether you listen to the Channel 7 forecast, from the daily papers, the local rag, radios or the Web, 99% of the weather info they disseminate comes directly from BOM.

Proof of this can be obtained by digging through the fine print on the disclaimers on the bottom of such webpages and therein you will find that BOM is the primary source of data.
A good example is WillyWeather.com.au wherein in big red letters they advise that any warnings etc. MUST be confirmed from the BOM website.

Even the international weather sites refer directly to BOM for their data and then reproduce it as they see fit. And when you think about it, it makes sense because only BOM has satellite time, wave/tidal buoys, hundreds of reporting stations, weather baloons and serious computer models available to produce they stuff they do.

And remember the international based weather organizations tap right into BOM's database so they can then reproduce their own versions of the weather.

Were they do differ is the actual format and style of presentation of stuff like winds, temperatures, clouds etc. In some respects this is a pretty good idea as the BOM weather can be scattered all over the place whereas these "personalised" websites etc. do tend to get all the info together and and display it a more user friendly fashion.

One of the Australian websites lays their claim to fame as "a bunch of weather fanatics" so rest assured there are few if any full time Meteorologits working for them!

You will also find that some of these sites also refer to overseas and international weather organizations as part of their "net" of weather sources they utilize but at day's end they ALL get their data from BOM.

Occasionally you may see a difference in forecasts, particularly winds, and this is more often than not due to the actual time that BOM puts out their report(s). The "other" sources are often behind in amending their forecasts probably due lack of resources and/or staff!

But don't get me wrong, I myself use some of these alternative advisory organizations due to the fact their layout is better than BOM's but all I am trying to say is that irrespective of where, how, when, why you get your forecast, they ALL come from BOM Oz!

Oh yeh, if you know anything about weather and spend a lot of time studying it like the good Boaties we all are, you will realize that BOM is right about 85% of the time. They also have their hands severely tied because if they make a mistake the whole world descends on them alah the Sydney to Hobart debacle some years back when BOM told them they were going to get their butts whipped but yachties being yachties they went anyway!

Hence they tend to always err on the side of caution and though their instincts and models etc. all tell them the weather will do so and so, they stick to generalizations and avoid specifics that can be open for criticism when the wheels fall off the actual weather on the day.

They actually do a pretty good job! ;D

13-01-2012, 06:05 PM
I keep an eye on elders weather for the basics then cross reference that with the local weather via Bom, then check with wind forecasts for brisbane over the next two days via BOM. Usually pretty good wind analysis and short term predictions there. Also check the radar for rain events coming in the next three hours before I leave.

Gave up on willyweather Windguru and the rest yrs ago, they seem to all pander to surfers more than anything.

Personally I think the East coast of Australia would be one of the hardest places in the world to accurately predict with the broken pine of the great Dividing Range to the west disrupting airflows and rainfall patterns.