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Media Release
The Hon Dr Sharman Stone
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Federal Member for Murray

3 November 2003

Technology Drives Weather Service Delivery


The ever increasing attention paid to weather forecasts, warnings, statistics and community information and education material on the Bureau of Meteorology's internet site has made it the most visited Australian Government website.

Dr Sharman Stone, Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment and Heritage, said the tools of the information age have transformed public access to weather information.

"The Bureau's website currently averages 210 million hits a month, with 300 million hits for October," Dr Stone said.

"Hitting onto the sites showing the weather radar imagery is most popular of all, with about 100 million hits a month."

Dr Stone said Australians had unprecedented access from a variety of high-tech delivery channels to weather and climate information.

"It's now possible for a farmer way down the back paddock to use emerging mobile phone technologies to view radar images of rainfall threatening that day's activities - or promising to fill the dams," Dr Stone said.

Also launching next year's Australian Weather Calendar this week, Dr Stone said the theme for 2004, Weather, Water and Climate in the Information Age, ties in with that chosen by the World Meteorological Organization for World Meteorological Day next year.

"The calendar's introductory text and monthly panels outline technology's pre-eminence in transforming meteorology from the folklore of ancient times to a global decision-making tool.

"In fact the electronic computing and communications revolution has delivered monitoring and analysis of the atmosphere in unprecedented detail world-wide - and the near-real-time dissemination of forecasts and warnings to billions of people."

The 2004 calendar captures meteorology, both mild and menacing, in 12 stunning photographs including:-

The calendar also includes climate averages for selected cities and will go on sale from Bureau offices today for $12 (over the counter) and $16 (posted within Australia or NZ). Alternatively, visit the Bureau website at www.bom.gov.au/calendar or phone toll free on 1300 798 789.

Commonwealth of Australia