It runs one of the most-viewed websites in Australia and broadcasts its weather forecasts and warnings around the country each day.
But for the millions of Australians who rely on the Bureau of Meteorology to help plan their daily lives, the ubiquitous BOM may still be a bit of a mystery.
So on World Meteorological Day, senior meteorologist at the BOM, Adam Morgan, answers a few questions that we’ve probably all wondered at some point.
How do you predict the weather?
“To be able to forecast the weather correctly we really need to observe the weather in all facets.”
“We take readings from thermometers; we take pressure readings from barometers; and more and more we use satellites to get information about cloud types, and radars for rainfall.
“All of these observations feed into computer models and they form the basis of predicting the weather out into the future.
“And those computer models are improving all the time.”
So why do you always get it wrong?
“It’s always the first question anyone asks me! The reality is we actually get it right most of the time.”
“But you know, the weather is an inexact science.
“We use computer weather models to forecast the future in conjunction with all our meteorologists’ personal experience over decades working in the role.
“That all comes together to forecast the weather.
“But sometimes nature can throw a curve ball at you and they’re the ones where we may not get it 100 per cent right, but most of the time we do.”
Where in Australia has the best weather?
“Well that all depends on where you live, doesn’t it? Everyone has different preferences.”
“I’ve lived in a couple of places around Australia since I’ve worked at the bureau — In Melbourne, in Darwin.
“I’ve loved them equally for the types of weather that they have.
“I love the hot, dry summers in Melbourne, but I love the humid, explosive thunderstorms that you get in Darwin.
“And the weather means different things to different people, and I think that really, anywhere on any day, somewhere in Australia is going to have perfect weather.”
How can the layperson predict the weather?
“There’s lots of clues that you can use if you just look out the window to become your own weather sleuth.”
“Sometimes if you can see little turrets of cloud in the morning in the middle of the atmosphere of the sky, that will give you an indication that the atmosphere is quite unstable and we might get thunderstorms.