Bom forecasts

kiter

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What is it with the bom forecasts? they really are underestimating the weather in the snowy region . There is a warning out for tomorrow morning . No warning for now where it's gusting over 100 kmn on the main range and I am currently getting smashed by big wind gusts in my pop up van in Jindabyne . Their snow forcasts have consistently been 80 percent chance of snow when it was actually dumping , no change. This under forecasting is dangerous. After the big Sydney to Hobart storm in the late 90s I think they consistently over warned on extreme weather until mid 2000 s which to me seems a good idea better safe than sorry . They missed the pasha bulks storm until only a few hours before a massive ship ended up on Nobbys and the warnings for the storm that trashed dingog were very late in the piece . amateur forecasters saw them days out and there was lots of weather forum chatter like here with snow forcasts and the bom still keep under forecasting extreme events
 
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HappyGirl

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What is it with the bom forecasts? they really are underestimating the weather in the snowy region . There is a warning out for tomorrow morning . No warning for now where it's gusting over 100 kmn on the main range and I am currently getting smashed by big wind gusts in my pop up van in Jindabyne . Their snow forcasts have consistently been 80 percent chance of snow when it was actually dumping , no change. This under forecasting is dangerous. After the big Sydney to Hobart storm in the late 90s I think they consistently over warned on extreme weather until mid 2000 s which to me seems a good idea better safe than sorry . They missed the pasha bulks storm until only a few hours before a massive ship ended up on Nobbys and the warnings for the storm that trashed dingog were very late in the piece . amateur forecasters saw them days out and there was lots of weather forum chatter like here with snow forcasts and the bom still keep under forecasting extreme events
They don't want people to know that we are actually having a good cold winter because we are currently in an El Nino and they want people to think we are heading for the hottest year on record in the lead up to Paris at the end of the year. BOM are on a mission! ;)
 

kiter

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I
They don't want people to know that we are actually having a good cold winter because we are currently in an El Nino and they want people to think we are heading for the hottest year on record in the lead up to Paris at the end of the year. BOM are on a mission! ;)
I don't buy that . What's in it for them . My main issue is their under estimation of extreme events . Peoples lives are potentially at risk as a result . If they overestimate the top temp for perisher consistently this is not really that big a deal but is indicative of an overall shortfall in their forecasting . Did they have funding slashed in Joes budget emergency slash and burn measures for some and don't worry about that for others ?
 
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teckel

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Certainly in terms of their long term forecasting, HG has a point. For winter 2014, they predicted a drier warmer winter. It was the best (coldest wettest) in 10 years in these parts. For 2014-15 summer they predicted a hot dry summer for Vic. It was the mildest summer for many year. Melbourne only got one day that exceeded 35, whereas normally they get 5 or 6 exceeding 40 and many more exceeding 35. I now ignore their long term forecasts - no idea what they predicted for this winter. But it seems that their long term forecasting may be ideologically driven.
 

Kelpieboy

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Interesting points of view so far , reminder to self - go to shop and get lots of popcorn as this thread could get entertaining.

I rarely even look at BOM for real time weather let alone a forecast for the upcoming days/weeks. I tend to rate BOM as just better than tv weather forecasting for any real accuracy. There are much better places to get more reliable information and so I use them.
 
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Kelpieboy

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No offence intended to any BOM employees that might viewing this thread but you got to admit there are better informed and more accurate services around.
 
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WaitAwhile

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Use a foreign source, BOM are unrelieable.
Are foreign sources more reliable, if you were to pick one and use it day in day out.
At the end of the day any forecast is just a prediction of something that may happen in the future,based on current observations/mapping.
Over the years we've used a few different websites and they all make mistakes.
Sometimes they will forecast 20cm of snow and you end up with 60 cm, other times the 20cm turns into 5 cm.
Wind speed is another that is not always right,its been like that for donkeys years.
I used to spend 3 to 4 months of the year out on the water,either racing on yachts or windsurfers and the actual wind speed was never always correct and you just have to deal with it.If you have a problem with it then just don't go out there.
They used to forecast a upper range for the gusts , not sure if they still do this and if it was related to onshore(coastal)/offshore maritime forecasts only.
.
 
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skifree

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I've found BOM very reliable in recent years including this one.

You do need to read the forecast carefully.

Though their weather station at Perisher is in the wrong spot and is never showing a true or representative wind speed or direction.
 
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Seafm

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What the BOM puts out in a weather forecast and what actually happens are two different things. It is just that, a prediction. The terrain around Jindabyne @kiter would probably affect the wind. High mountains nearby can do funny things to wind velocity and direction in particular it could accelerate the wind down a slope. This happens up here in North Queensland with cyclones where the wind circulation comes back around and off the land and then accelerates down off the coastal ranges. Around Jindabyne the mountains are significantly higher than they are here and probably amplifies the wind speed even more.
 

kiter

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What the BOM puts out in a weather forecast and what actually happens are two different things. It is just that, a prediction. The terrain around Jindabyne @kiter would probably affect the wind. High mountains nearby can do funny things to wind velocity and direction in particular it could accelerate the wind down a slope. This happens up here in North Queensland with cyclones where the wind circulation comes back around and off the land and then accelerates down off the coastal ranges. Around Jindabyne the mountains are significantly higher than they are here and probably amplifies the wind speed even more.
Agreed , however Wind gusts at thredbo top station consistently over 100 Kmh for most of the afternoon and evening , massive wind and dangerous wind gusts elsewhere in the area and the only warning is for tomorrow morning when it's likely to be long gone . Poor form and downright dangerous. It was bleeding obvious what was going on in the lead up this morning .then it blew it's box off this afternoon . A warning should have been issued
 

kiter

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Stay on topic.

You can complain about the forecasting, but don't bring a political element into it.
I'm not sure if this is directed at me . I am asking a legitimate question about current bom forecasting and particularly important warnings where there is a lot at stake
 

Sandy

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Stay on topic.

You can complain about the forecasting, but don't bring a political element into it.
I'm not sure if this is directed at me . I am asking a legitimate question about current bom forecasting and particularly important warnings where there is a lot at stake

Your posting is ok. Talking about the inaccuracy of forecasts is ok, and if it's dangerous, etc.

Some people have brought in the "government ownership" into it, which will not be discussed here.
 

kiter

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I've found BOM very reliable in recent years including this one.

You do need to read the forecast carefully.

Though their weather station at Perisher is in the wrong spot and is never showing a true or representative wind speed or direction.
I had a look at the perisher specific forcast for the next few days and I agree it is probably going to be quite accurate . Yes I agree that specifically for perisher they have been quite good . To clarify my point it is the broader snowy mountains and other regional forcasts that are not on par . Particularly lack of warnings and precipitation scenarios that are at odds with specific locality forcasts . I understand that regional forcasts cover a broader spectrum but I would have thought that extremes should be accounted for within that region as a worse case scenario and general heads up that things could be quite wild and dangerous
 

kiter

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I've checked the warnings just now and there was an update at 1032pm . They warn that there will be a continuance of damaging winds for the rest of the night . This is good but IMO very belated
 
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dawooduck

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IMHO .... BOM does a far better job than any of these weather threads. Yesterdays wind was noted in forecasts and it arrived pretty much as predicted.

People expecting minute based 100% accurate predictions be delusional.

One glance at the weather map will tell you that things could be "wild n dangerous" or in normal non frothing speak ..... "front be coming could get a bit windy".
 

Nidecker

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IMHO .... BOM does a far better job than any of these weather threads. Yesterdays wind was noted in forecasts and it arrived pretty much as predicted.
People expecting minute based 100% accurate predictions be delusional.
One glance at the weather map will tell you that things could be "wild n dangerous" or in normal non frothing speak ..... "front be coming could get a bit windy".

So true! It cracks me up that people think BOM is less accurate than say a Frog :)

The historical from here and other websites, comparison to BOM vs eventual reality would make for an interesting thesis.
 

bengarden

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They just strike me as inaccurate in terms of how much snow will fall and often the max temps. The other day I was at Perisher and they forecast a top of 2 or 3 degrees and it didn't get anything above -2 which is a massive difference when it comes to snow conditions and whether its slushy or nice and dry. If you want to see an example of a government weather agency that takes alpine forecasts seriously and gets out proper warnings then have a look at NZs metservice.com Their website is also much more easy to understand and the user interface looks like it was designed for using by people and not mostly scientists like the BOM one....
 

kiter

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IMHO .... BOM does a far better job than any of these weather threads. Yesterdays wind was noted in forecasts and it arrived pretty much as predicted.

People expecting minute based 100% accurate predictions be delusional.

One glance at the weather map will tell you that things could be "wild n dangerous" or in normal non frothing speak ..... "front be coming could get a bit windy".
Most punters wouldn't have a clue how to read a weather map . The wind gusts were huge and no there was no mention of wild and dangerous and no warnings for yesterday afternoon . I don't expect 100 per cent forcast accuracy , I don't think anyone does . I do expect an appropriate warning when as you say a quick glance at the weather map tells you what to expect .
 

kiter

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So the warning for this mornings expected strong and damaging winds has been cancelled , woops it been and gone already , let's hope no one noticed , perhaps they had a quick look at the maps . The update makes for an interesting read and is rather thorough .
 

kiter

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They just strike me as inaccurate in terms of how much snow will fall and often the max temps. The other day I was at Perisher and they forecast a top of 2 or 3 degrees and it didn't get anything above -2 which is a massive difference when it comes to snow conditions and whether its slushy or nice and dry. If you want to see an example of a government weather agency that takes alpine forecasts seriously and gets out proper warnings then have a look at NZs metservice.com Their website is also much more easy to understand and the user interface looks like it was designed for using by people and not mostly scientists like the BOM one....
In the scheme of things this is unfortunate and yes they do seem to have been regularly off by quite a few degrees . It is indicative of a wider problem though and the percentage chance of snow in the forcasts is usually way off the mark . This has wider implications particularly as it also underestimates the potential for hazardous driving conditions
 
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dawooduck

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"Most punters don't have a clue" could be the real crux of the issue ..... but hey, they still enter a wild Alpine environment expecting minute controlled weather.

... complaining about potholes, wanting fenced highways to keep kangaroos out, perfect grip from road tyres, no icy corners, front row park at 9am, perfectly loaded chairs ..... and the best on of all ... perfectly accurate to the centimeter snow fall and degree perfect temperature predictions.

I wish BOM would tell me how many layers to wear today ....
 

bengarden

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I wish BOM would tell me how many layers to wear today ....
Lol. Thats exactly what the NZ met service does. Its just a guide line for how many layers they recommend and if you need a wind stopping layer. I think its actually a good way of understanding the combination of temps and wind i.e. windchill for your average person who doesn't have experience of such things.
 
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kiter

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"Most punters don't have a clue" could be the real crux of the issue ..... but hey, they still enter a wild Alpine environment expecting minute controlled weather.

... complaining about potholes, wanting fenced highways to keep kangaroos out, perfect grip from road tyres, no icy corners, front row park at 9am, perfectly loaded chairs ..... and the best on of all ... perfectly accurate to the centimeter snow fall and degree perfect temperature predictions.

I wish BOM would tell me how many layers to wear today ....
I am not suggesting a nanny state .yes they do enter a wild alpine environment and better warnings when it may seem bleeding obvious to those of us who can read a weather map (but not the boffins at the bom it seems ) are in order and will save everyone a whole heap of crap(particularly the good folk in emergency services ) and maybe even save lives
 
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skifree

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Weather is not a very exact science.

Australia is a huge place. And weather can be very local and chaotic. Look out your own windows and do not treat BOM as gospel.

Life would be very boring if we could predict the weather.
 

Sandy

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Weather is not a very exact science.

Australia is a huge place. And weather can be very local and chaotic. Look out your own windows and do not treat BOM as gospel.

Life would be very boring if we could predict the weather.

For example I used to go fishing quite a lot. On cloudy days, when you'd get occasional showers, just before it started to rain, you would get gusts of strong wind, even on the calmest days.
This tells you two things:
- You can have a general trend, but often both cloud, rain and wind can be localised
- The amount of precipitation can vary a lot from one location to the next, even if the two locations are only 500m apart.

Another example is in Japan... I often ski in Hakuba. Sometimes on a northerly wind you might get 10cm in the base area of Happo, while 10km north of there in Cortina Kokusai, you'll get 40cm. It has to do with orographic lift, temperature and the terrain profile.
But it shows how difficult it is to predict precipitation, including snowfall. Snowfall depth is also related to water content, temperature & snow density.... a one degree difference can have an impact on snow depth. (e.g. -1 degree or -5 degrees), so in Australia, it's very difficult to predict snowfall depth.
 

robbo mcs

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I don't expect perfection with forecasts. However, my impression is that for some reason the BOM this year seems less accurate than in prior years, especially for maximum temperatures. There may be valid reasons for that, ie the unpredictable nature of systems. However, as Bengarden pointed out, for them to be off 5c in max temperature is quite significant, and that has happened quite a lot this year.
 

Ubiquitous Steve

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c.c out fast here to censor problem posts .... admirable....never rely on forecasts...
predictions at best..
be happy you are alive and not stuck out on Main Range curled in foetal position....

BOM probably throwing in a few dodgy forecasts for entertainment purposes...LOL

If BOM issued forecast for ongoing damaging winds then I suggest that means Main Range "anything" is a no go...:eek:.
damaging winds for MR Kosy mean 100km/hr possible you cannot stand upright/or walk in straight line.....
 
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Kelpieboy

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I am not slagging off BOM , it serves its purpose and for some areas ( mainly the highly populated areas) of this country it is quite decent. However my livelihood is in the primary producer agriculture sector , primarily grazing for meat and wool , and with this in mind I investigated quite a few different sources for climate statistics and long term weather forecasts/ patterns. I found that BOM is lacking , when compared to some other sources, in longer range forecasting and so I chose to use a few others in combination to get a more detailed and accurate assessment. In short, I have found that there are sources out there who have the ability to give reasonably insightful forecasts over a longer timeframe that what BOM currently can.

If you took any single source of information on something such as weather then it would be reasonable to assume that most would perform around about at the same level as regards forecasting/ predicting wether events.
 

skifree

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I don't expect perfection with forecasts. However, my impression is that for some reason the BOM this year seems less accurate than in prior years, especially for maximum temperatures. There may be valid reasons for that, ie the unpredictable nature of systems. However, as Bengarden pointed out, for them to be off 5c in max temperature is quite significant, and that has happened quite a lot this year.

BOM can give you stats that say they are generally improving.
 

Vandans

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Where did the term 'snow showers' come from? They used to say snow above a certain altitude, light medium or heavy. And btw the term 'fine', nobody else uses that. BOM does describe high cloud very well other than to fine and 26c as a photographer it would be extremely helpful if they said periods of high cloud during the day. I find Meteo France and Meteo swiss are rather good in explaining what is the forecast ahead.
 
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