Navigating Bureau of Meterology’s MetEye maps

This month has been hot! REALLY HOT! The majority of Australia has been sweltering in heats of 30 degrees Celsius (°C) and above. For lucky people like me, 40°C and above. Some people love the heat, they relish the tans, the swimming and the balmy evenings. Others… not so much. What can be agreed on however is that the weather affects us all. For the unprepared, weather can all too easily change plans, moods and shoe choice in seconds…

But do not despair, the MetEye is here to provide you with all the information you will need to make sure a weekend barbeque isn’t ruined thanks to a sudden hail or lightning storm.

The MetEye is available online through the Australian Government’s Bureau of Meteorology website. The MetEye consists of a number of maps showing weather observations and official forecasts. The maps consist of data collected from teams of meteorologists from Regional Forecast Centres. This means that the information you are seeing, comes from each of the capital cities in Australia. This data is then collated within the Australian Digital Forecast database (ADFD) and is then adjusted by meteorologists to better represent the expected weather. This is a point of difference to other web-based map systems, as they often only display computer model data that has been automatically generated.

Source: BOM MetEye

Using the MetEye is quite simple, a view of the whole of Australia is available or if you enter your location into the search engine, a more localised map will appear. As well as this, current weather and future forecasts are available. There are several different types of weather data to choose from for your area and each are displayed with colour coding. This makes the feature easy to read at a quick glance e.g. as I check it now for daily maximum temperature, most of the continent is shades of orange (33 to 42°C).

As well as daily maximum, the MetEye also displays overnight minimum, and the handy “Feels like” feature in its temperature data. When a location is searched, a 7-day forecast of max- and minimum temperatures is displayed.

But, temperature isn’t the only factor that can make or break a beach day, so MetEye also gives you a range of other features to explore: rainfall, wind direction and speed, waves for the coastal dwellers, storms (of all descriptions), humidity, and UV rating.

Finally, the MetEye has a “Find Me” feature which allows the site to use your current location to give you the most accurate data of your location. Locations can marked on the maps and can also be saved for later reference.

Overall, the MetEye is an excellent, easy to use service when it comes to the weather. As I check the forecast for the coming week, it is telling me that I’m going to be over 30°C and dry for the next 7 days.

Plans? Swim. Mood? Happy in the shade. Footwear? Optional.

First published on 16th February 2017 on RiAus – Australia’s Science Channel

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