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Media Release
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Greg Hunt MP

23 March 2005

Bureau praised in Ingrid's wake on World Met Day


Mr Greg Hunt MP, Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment, has praised the Bureau of Meteorology for keeping coastal communities across Northern Australia up-to-date with warnings, and web-based information during the progress of Cyclone Ingrid.

"The Bureau has done an excellent job in providing this crucial service and assisting emergency services in preparing communities on what to do before, during and after the cyclone and in keeping them aware of conditions as they affected their homes through regular warnings, and displays of satellite and radar images and threat maps on the Bureau's website," Mr Hunt said.

"Internet traffic on the Bureau's website almost doubled during the height of Cyclone Ingrid between the 7th and 14th of March and over 1 million hits alone were recorded for the threat map for Queensland.

"Technological advances in the way we monitor, forecast and communicate the weather means the public now has up-to-date information available 24 hours a day.

"Information from radars affected by the cyclone was received every 10 minutes, automatic weather stations from between 10 and every 30 minutes and satellite coverage every hour. This was relayed directly to the Bureau's website.

"This information along with extra upper atmosphere profiles at Weipa, Gove, Charleville and Townsville was combined with computer prediction models to monitor and predict Ingrid's journey across the Top End and to issue a total of 89 warnings throughout Ingrid's 11 day reign.

"Many people in the Northern Territory used the website to keep a constant eye on the cyclone as it travelled the coast and thanks to an upgrade of the Bureau's Internet link capacity, it was able to cope with the increased demand."

Cyclone Ingrid is the only tropical cyclone to have affected three states while rated as a category 3 cyclone or above. It was first named at noon on Sunday 6 March and the last warning was issued at 6.45am WST on 17 March.

Media Contact:
Fiona Murphy (Mr Hunt's office) 0423 577 045

Commonwealth of Australia