Australia's Bureau of Meteorology runs one of the nation's most popular web sites, and is about to introduce a big new upgrade called 'Meteye'. It's in beta, and Vulture South, on a slow news day, decided to give it a spin both on the MacBook Pro and on a Samsung Galaxy smartphone. The short verdict is easy and nearly immediate …
Posted from Blighty but the effect's the same
The UK's Met office 'beta' likes the same approach. Yeukk.
(1) I want tomorrow's clothes-drying forecast. A combination of wind, humidity, sunshine and freedom from precipitation. This affects millions whereas a ten-percent chance of high winds in the Exeboks mountains affects tens.
(2) I want layers of actual observations which I can compare half-hourly with what's outside. Part of the purpose of electronic information is to allow us to compare with what's ACTUALLY happening so we can learn to read the conditions for ourselves.
(3) I want isotherms (and iso-things) not spot values.
(4) I want a text forecast generated by a human. There's a world of a difference between Min temp and 'It will feel bloody chilly in the onshore breeze' etc. etc.
(5) The pictorial 7-day forecasts should start as 100% alpha then fade away as uncertainty increases.
People who are serious about the weather always make their own observations using whatever cues they have available, whether it is clouds, frogs croaking, factory chimney smoke patterns or seaweed. Meteorologists need to recognise their input is valuable but subtle data is required not headline pictures.
Can't access the beta
I can't seem to access the beta through the link - it's giving a "page not found".
However, from the screen shots, it doesn't look like any improvement over the current site - that is quite quick to find the local forecast/rain radar, etc. I don't use BOM on my mobile though (I rely on other cues - e.g, if there are water droplets on the screen, it's probably raining; if I the screen doesn't respond, it's so cold my fingers have frozen, etc.).
Also, I notice it's raining all week in Sydney ... maybe you should venture west of The Crossroads sometime, Simon ... the weather here is fine (if a degree or two cooler).
I too was underwhelmed ......
.... but hey if the site is ordinary now, it can only get better .... yes? The trouble is I think, that when a website changes we all expect it to be "all singing and all dancing" when in fact weather is just plain boring and something to complain about - largely because it is an inexact science often based on observations that may be several tens (or hundreds) of km from your home.
How exactly do you snazz up a weather site? Don't know, but there has been some debate here in Qld about BOM using data from "hobby" sites, some of which are very sophisticated and lack only doppler radar observations. These people are fanatics who have something useful to say about the weather at their location, and in my opinion should not be dismissed as loonies which BOM appears to do.
Hey, how about the official BOM site and an unofficial "Aussie Weather" site running side by side. I'll wager that just as much useful information comes from the several hundreds of amateurs as from the several dozen "official" data collection sites.
For mobile devices...
For iOS there are apps that do this much better - starting with OzWeather (iOS). No need to use tat awful web page.
A step in the right direction
Too bad the radar will still be delayed by at least 6 minutes.
They should look at some of the stuff KWTV is doing in Oklahoma City.