Australia, December 15, 2006 – A new computer tracking system will allow forecasters to inform the public about the path of a cyclone two days in advance. That is double the previous standard.
The cyclone map, released on December 15, was trialled by the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) during the last wet season. The map can be viewed online or faxed to communities in the cyclone’s path. BOM’s spokesman for the Northern Territory, Andrew Tupper, says the new visual graphic is easier to understand and more accessible than the old plotting maps.
“Trying to listen to latitude, longitudes, plot it all out, visualise what’s going on is always difficult when it’s just text products,” he said. “So we know from last season that probably people will be using this much more than even the written warning.” Mr. Tupper says BOM has worked for two years to develop the tool but he is hoping forecasters will not have a chance to use it until next year.