|Formed||1 January 1908|
|Jurisdiction||Government of Australia|
|Employees||1,663 (at 31 May 2015)|
|Annual budget||A$279.3 million (2015–16)|
|Parent agency||Department of the Environment and Energy|
The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) is an Executive Agency of the Australian Government responsible for providing weather services to Australia and surrounding areas. It was established in 1906 under the Meteorology Act, and brought together the state meteorological services that existed before then.The states officially transferred their weather recording responsibilities to the Bureau of Meteorology on 1 January 1908.
The Bureau of Meteorology is the main provider of weather forecasts, warnings and observations to the Australian public. The Bureau distributes weather images via radiofax and is responsible for issuing flood alerts in Australia.
The Bureau's head office is in Melbourne Docklands, which includes the Bureau's Research Centre, the Bureau National Operations Centre, the National Climate Centre, the Victorian Regional Forecasting Centre as well as the Hydrology and Satellite sections.
Regional offices are located in each state and territory capital. Each regional office includes a Regional Forecasting Centre and a Flood Warning Centre, and the Perth, Darwin and Brisbane offices also house Tropical Cyclone Warning Centres. The Adelaide office incorporates the National Tidal Centre, while the Darwin office the Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre and Regional Specialised Meteorological Centre (Analysis).
The Australian Bureau of Meteorology issues Tropical Cyclone Advicesand developed the Standard Emergency Warning Signal used for warnings. The Bureau is responsible for tropical cyclone naming for storms in waters surrounding Australia. Three lists of names used to be maintained, one for each of the western, northern and eastern Australian regions. However, as of the start of the 2008–09 Tropical Cyclone Year these lists have been rolled into one main national list of tropical cyclone names.
The regional offices are supported by the Bureau National Operations Centre (BNOC) which is also located at the head office in Melbourne Docklands.
The Bureau maintains a network of field offices across the continent, on neighbouring islands and in Antarctica. There is also a network of some 500 paid co-operative observers and approximately 6,000 voluntary rainfall observers.
The following people have been directors of the Bureau of Meteorology:
|Henry Ambrose Hunt||1908–31|
|William S Watt||1931–40|
|H. Norman Warren||1940–50|
|Edward W Timcke||1950–55|
|Leonard J Dwyer||1955–62|
|William J Gibbs||1962–78|
|Neville Smith (Acting Director)||2008–09|
|Andrew Johnson||6 September 2016–Present|
In the head office a Cray XC40 supercomputer called "Australis" provides the operational computing capability for weather, climate, ocean and wave numerical prediction and simulation, while other Unix servers support the computer message switching system and real-time data base. The Australian Integrated Forecast System affords the main computing infrastructure in the regional offices. Numerical weather prediction is performed using the Unified Model software. The Bureau of Meteorology announced the Cray contractin July 2015, commissioned the Cray XC40 supercomputer on 30 June 2016 and decommissioned their Oracle HPC system in October 2016.
Tropical cyclone warnings and watches are two levels of alert issued by national weather forecasting bodies to coastal areas threatened by the imminent approach of a tropical cyclone of tropical storm or hurricane intensity. They are notices to the local population and civil authorities to make appropriate preparation for the cyclone, including evacuation of vulnerable areas where necessary. It is important that interests throughout the area of an alert make preparations to protect life and property, and do not disregard it on the strength of the detailed forecast track. Tropical cyclones are not points, and forecasting their track remains an uncertain science.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) is an agency of the Ministry of Earth Sciences of the Government of India. It is the principal agency responsible for meteorological observations, weather forecasting and seismology. IMD is headquartered in Delhi and operates hundreds of observation stations across India and Antarctica. Regional offices are at Mumbai, Kolkata, Nagpur and Pune.
The Fiji Meteorological Service (FMS) is a Department of the government of Fiji responsible for providing weather forecasts and is based in Nadi. The current director of Fiji Meteorological Service is Misa. Since 1985, FMS has been responsible for naming and tracking tropical cyclones in the Southwest Pacific region. Current Meteorologists working at FMS have a Graduate Diploma in Meteorology from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology.
A Regional Specialized Meteorological Centre is responsible for the distribution of information, advisories, and warnings regarding the specific program they have a part of, agreed by consensus at the World Meteorological Organization as part of the World Weather Watch.
Severe Tropical Cyclone Glenda of March 2006 was among the strongest tropical cyclones to threaten Western Australia, though it weakened considerably before landfall and moved ashore in a lightly populated region. It began as a tropical low on 15 March in the Gulf of Carpentaria. The precursor disturbance drifted over Top End and later across the northeastern portion of Western Australia, and after emerging into the Indian Ocean it strengthened into a tropical storm. Aided by favourable environmental conditions, Glenda rapidly intensified to reach Category 5 status on the Australian cyclone scale, and with a peak intensity of 910 mbar it was among the strongest cyclones on record within the Australia region. On 30 March it moved ashore near Onslow as a Category 3 cyclone, and the next day it degenerated into a remnant tropical low over land.
The 2008–09 Australian region cyclone season was a near average tropical cyclone season. It officially started on 1 November 2008, and officially ended on 30 April 2009. This season was also the first time that the BoM implemented a "tropical cyclone year." The regional tropical cyclone operational plan defines a "tropical cyclone year" separately from a "tropical cyclone season"; the "tropical cyclone year" began on 1 July 2008 and ended on 30 June 2009.
The 2009–10 Australian region cyclone season was a below average tropical cyclone season, with eight tropical cyclones forming compared to an average of 12. The season began on 1 November 2009 and ran through until it end on 30 April 2010. The Australian region is defined as being to south of the equator, between the 90th meridian east and 160th meridian east. Tropical cyclones in this area are monitored by five Tropical Cyclone Warning Centres (TCWC's): Jakarta, Port Moresby, Perth, Darwin, and Brisbane, each of which have the power to name a tropical cyclone. The TCWC's in Perth, Darwin, and Brisbane are run by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, who designate significant tropical lows with a number and the U suffix. The Joint Typhoon Warning Center also issues unofficial warnings for the region, designating significant tropical cyclones with the "S" suffix when they form west of 135°E, and the "P" suffix when they form east of 135°E.
The 2010–11 Australian region cyclone season was a near average tropical cyclone season, with eleven tropical cyclones forming compared to an average of 12. The season was also the costliest recorded in the Australian region basin, with a total of $3.62 billion in damages, mostly from the destructive Cyclone Yasi. The season began on 1 November 2010 and ended on 30 April 2011, although the first tropical cyclone formed on 28 October. The Australian region is defined as being to the south of the equator, between the 90th meridian east and 160th meridian east. Tropical cyclones in this area are monitored by five Tropical Cyclone Warning Centres (TCWC's): Jakarta, Port Moresby, Perth, Darwin, and Brisbane, each of which have the power to name a tropical cyclone. The TCWC's in Perth, Darwin, and Brisbane are run by the Bureau of Meteorology, who designate significant tropical lows with a number and the U suffix. The Joint Typhoon Warning Center also issues unofficial warnings for the region, designating significant tropical cyclones with the "S" suffix when they form west of 135°E, and the "P" suffix when they form east of 135°E.
The 2011–12 Australian region cyclone season was a below average tropical cyclone season, with 7 cyclones forming rather than the usual 11. It began on 1 November 2011, and ended on 14 May 2012. The regional tropical cyclone operational plan defines a "tropical cyclone year" separately from a "tropical cyclone season"; the "tropical cyclone year" began on 1 July 2011 and ended on 30 June 2012.
The 2012–13 Australian region cyclone season was a slightly below average tropical cyclone season event in the ongoing cycle of tropical cyclone formation. It officially started on 1 November 2012, and officially ended on 30 April 2013, despite Cyclone Zane being an active system at the time. The regional tropical cyclone operational plan defines a "tropical cyclone year" separately from a "tropical cyclone season"; the "tropical cyclone year" began on 1 July 2012 and ended on 30 June 2013.
The 2013–14 Australian region cyclone season was a slightly below-average tropical cyclone season, with 10 tropical cyclones occurring within the Australian region. It officially started on 1 November 2013, and ended on 30 April 2014. The regional tropical cyclone operational plan defines a "tropical cyclone year" separately from a "tropical cyclone season"; the "tropical cyclone year" began on 1 July 2013 and ended on 30 June 2014.
The 2019–20 Australian region cyclone season is the period of the year when most tropical cyclones form in the southern Indian and Pacific Oceans between 90°E and 160°E. The season officially began on 1 November 2019 and will end on 30 April 2020; however, a tropical cyclone could form at any time between 1 July 2019 and 30 June 2020 and would count towards the season total. During the season, tropical cyclones will be officially monitored by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM), the Indonesian Agency for Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics (BMKG), and the National Weather Service of Papua New Guinea. The United States' Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC), and other national agencies such as the Fiji Meteorological Service (FMS), the Meteorological Service of New Zealand (MetService), and Météo-France at La Réunion, will also monitor parts of the basin during the season.
Severe Tropical Cyclone Narelle was a powerful Category 4 tropical cyclone in early January 2013 that brought light rains to areas in South Australia suffering from a drought and heat wave. On 4 January, a tropical low pressure developed within a monsoon trough over the Timor Sea. Over the following several days, the system gradually tracked westward and intensified, being classified Tropical Cyclone Narelle on 8 January. Turning southward into a region of low wind shear, Narelle intensified into a severe tropical cyclone on 9 January. Over the following two days, the cyclone's structure fluctuated, temporarily featuring an eye, before it maintained its organisation and intensified further on 11 January. The storm attained its peak intensity later on 11 January as a Category 4 cyclone with winds of 195 km/h (120 mph). The following day, Narelle passed approximately 330 km (205 mi) northwest of Exmouth as it moved on a south-southwesterly course. The system steadily weakened and ultimately fell below tropical cyclone strength on 15 January well to the west of Geraldton.
Tropical Cyclone Alessia was the first tropical cyclone to affect the Northern Territory of Australia in November since Cyclone Joan in 1975. The storm was first identified as a tropical low on 20 November 2013 well to the northwest of Australia. Tracking generally west to west-southwest, the small system steadily organized into a tropical cyclone by 22 November. Maintaining a small central dense overcast, Alessia brushed the Kimberley region before making landfall in the Top End region with winds of 65 km/h (40 mph) on 23 and 24 November respectively. Some weakening took place as the system moved over land; however, reorganization occurred as it neared the Gulf of Carpentaria. After moving over water on 26 November, it redeveloped gale-force winds. Alessia reached its peak intensity on 27 November with winds of 85 km/h (50 mph) and a barometric pressure of 991 mbar and subsequently made its final landfall near Wollogorang. Weakening ensued once more as the storm traveled over land; though, Alessia's remnants looped eastward back over water before doubling back to the west. The system was last noted moving inland again over the Northern Territory on 1 December.
Severe Tropical Cyclone Gillian was the second most powerful of the 2013–14 Australian region cyclone season and the strongest in the basin in four years. It developed on 8 March, 2014, in the Gulf of Carpentaria offshore northern Australia. It drifted southeastward, moving over northwestern Queensland on 10 March as a weak tropical cyclone, and subsequently turned to the southwest and later to the west. Unfavourable wind shear, land interaction, and dry air prevented much restrengthening, and for several days, Gillian was a weak tropical low. The storm moved northward and curved westward around the Top End of northwestern Australia, and subsequently moved across several islands in Indonesia, first Timor on 18 March. On 21 March, Gillian again became a tropical cyclone as it moved away from Indonesia. On the next day, it passed just southeast of Christmas Island as an intensifying storm, and subsequently Gillian underwent rapid deepening. On 23 March, the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) estimated peak 10-minute sustained winds of 220 km/h (140 mph). On the same day, the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) estimated peak 1-minute sustained winds of 260 km/h (160 mph), making it a Category 5 on the Saffir–Simpson hurricane wind scale. Increased wind shear caused the cyclone to rapidly weaken, and both BoM and JTWC discontinued advisories on Gillian on 26 March.
The Tuvalu Meteorological Service (TMS) is the principal meteorological observatory of Tuvalu and is responsible for providing weather services to the islands of Tuvalu. A meteorological office was established on Funafuti at the time the islands of Tuvalu were administered as parts of the Gilbert and Ellice Islands colony of the United Kingdom. The meteorological office is now an agency of the government of Tuvalu.
The Cray XC40 is a massively parallel multiprocessor supercomputer manufactured by Cray. It consists of Intel Haswell Xeon processors, with optional Nvidia Tesla or Intel Xeon Phi accelerators, connected together by Cray's proprietary "Aries" interconnect, stored in air-cooled or liquid-cooled cabinets. The XC series supercomputers are available with the Cray DataWarp applications I/O accelerator technology.
Severe Tropical Cyclone Marcia was a powerful tropical cyclone that made landfall at its peak strength over central Queensland, near Shoalwater Bay on 20 February 2015. The cyclone went on to affect various areas including Yeppoon and Rockhampton. It passed just to the west of Yeppoon as a Category 4 system, then traversed over the regional city of Rockhampton as a Category 2 system on the same day. Eventually, the cyclone weakened, moved southeast out to sea, before dissipating. Marcia caused at least A$750 million (US$587 million) worth of damage.
Pratyushand Mihir are the supercomputers established at Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune and National Center for Medium Range Weather Forecast (NCMRWF), Noida respectively. As of January 2018, Pratyush and Mihir are the fastest supercomputer in India with a maximum speed of 6.8 PetaFlops at a total cost of INR 438.9 Crore. The system was inaugurated by Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister for science and technology, on 8 January 2018.The word 'Pratyush' defines the rising sun.
Tropical cyclones in 2014 were spread out across seven different areas called basins; the strongest of these tropical cyclones was Typhoon Vongfong, which strengthened to a minimum barometric pressure of 900 mbar before striking the east coast of Japan. 117 tropical cyclones had formed this year to date. 80 tropical cyclones had been named by either a Regional Specialized Meteorological Center (RSMC) or a Tropical Cyclone Warning Center (TCWC). The most active basin in 2014 was the Western Pacific, which documented 23 named systems, while the Eastern Pacific, despite only amounting to 22 named systems, was its basin's most active since 1992. Conversely, both the North Atlantic hurricane and North Indian Ocean cyclone seasons experienced the fewest cyclones reaching tropical storm intensity in recorded history, numbering 9 and 3, respectively. Activity across the southern hemisphere's three basins—South-West Indian, Australian, and South Pacific—was spread evenly, with each region recording seven named storms apiece.
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