BOM reveals “spectacular” new weather satellite

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Predicting the weather in Australia can be a futile task. Such a changeable climate leads to rain clouds quickly dispersing, meaning households and businesses are left without water when they need it most.

It's one reason why many Aussies choose to invest in a polyethylene water tank. A high-quality poly tank will store what precious rainwater there is for use in the drier months.

It also helps when there are resources on hand to predict the weather changes. While it won't affect the amount of rainfall a region will receive, it will give them some insight into how much rain to expect, and what type of poly water tank they should buy.

With this in mind, there's good news from the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM), which on September 30 announced a "spectacular new era in satellite meteorology".

The Japanese Himawari-8 satellite has produced real-time imagery of weather patterns across the country, and all that information is publicly available.

BOM Director and CEO Dr Rob Vertessy explained how big a breakthrough this is for the country.

"Himawari-8 is one giant leap in satellite meteorology: it's like switching from black and white TV to high definition colour in one jump," he said. 

"You can see unfolding weather in detail we've only dreamed of in the past. But it's more than just eye-candy for our forecasters. Himawari-8 generates about 50 times more data than the previous satellite. Our forecasters now have access to 16 observation wavebands that capture important detail from many layers of the atmosphere."

Because of the availability, it could help farmers plan for the impact of droughts and buy a water tank that suits their specific needs. It is also likely to be useful for Australian water tank suppliers, who can help homeowners across the country find an ideal tank for their water-storage needs.

By David Francis

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