Bureau of Meteorology

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Bureau of Meteorology
Agency overview
Formed 1 January 1908
Jurisdiction Government of Australia
Headquarters Melbourne/Canberra
Employees 1,663 (at 31 May 2015)
Annual budget A$279.3 million (2015–16)
Minister responsible
Agency executive
  • Dr Rob Vertessy, Director of Meteorology
Parent agency Department of the Environment
Website www.bom.gov.au

The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM), formerly known as the Central Weather Bureau,[1] is an Executive Agency of the Australian Government responsible for providing weather services to Australia and surrounding areas. It was established in 1906 under the Meteorology Act, and brought together the state meteorological services that existed before then. The states officially transferred their weather recording responsibilities to the Bureau of Meteorology on 1 January 1908.[2][3]

Services and structure

Berrimah radar

The Bureau of Meteorology is the main provider of weather forecasts, warnings and observations to the Australian public. The Bureau distributes weather images via radiofax and is responsible for issuing flood alerts in Australia.

The Bureau's head office is in Melbourne Docklands, which includes the Bureau's Research Centre, the National Meteorological and Oceanographic Centre, the National Climate Centre, as well as the Hydrology and Satellite sections.[4]

Regional offices are located in each state and territory capital. Each regional office includes a Regional Forecasting Centre and a Flood Warning Centre, and the Perth, Darwin and Brisbane offices also house Tropical Cyclone Warning Centres. The Adelaide office incorporates the National Tidal Centre, while the Darwin office the Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre and Regional Specialised Meteorological Centre (Analysis).

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology issues Tropical Cyclone Advices[5] and developed the Standard Emergency Warning Signal used for warnings. The Bureau is responsible for tropical cyclone naming for storms in waters surrounding Australia. Three lists of names used to be maintained, one for each of the western, northern and eastern Australian regions.[6] However, as of the start of the 2008–09 Tropical Cyclone Year these lists have been rolled into one main national list of tropical cyclone names.[6]

The regional offices are supported by the National Meteorological and Oceanographic Centre (NMOC) which is also located at the head office in Melbourne Docklands.

The Bureau maintains a network of field offices across the continent, on neighbouring islands and in Antarctica. There is also a network of some 500 paid co-operative observers and approximately 6,000 voluntary rainfall observers.


The Director of Meteorology in the Bureau of Meteorology is Dr Rob Vertessy, succeeding Dr Greg Ayers who resigned due to ill health in February 2012.[7][8] Deputy Directors are Dr Neville Smith (Research and Systems), Dr Ray Canterford (Services), Graham Hawke (Climate & Water), Vicki Middleton (Corporate), and Dr Peter May and Dr Helen Cleugh (Deputy Directors of the Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research, the latter with the CSIRO, the other organisation involved with the centre).[8][9]

Former Directors

Former Directors of the Bureau of Meteorology are:

Director Years
Henry Ambrose Hunt 1908–31
William S Watt 1931–40
H. Norman Warren 1940–50
Edward W Timcke 1950–55
Leonard J Dwyer 1955–62
William J Gibbs 1962–78
John Zillman 1978–2003
Geoff Love 2003–08
Neville Smith (Acting Director) 2008–09
Greg Ayers 2009–12[7]
Rob Vertessy 2012–


In Head Office an Oracle Supercomputer provides the framework for weather modelling and simulation,[10] while other UNIX servers support the Computer Message Switching System and Real-Time Data Base. The Australian Integrated Forecast System affords the main computing infrastructure in the Regional offices. Numerical Weather Prediction is performed using the Unified Model software. In August 2010 the Bureau of Meteorology decommissioned their previous supercomputer, the NEC SX-6, switching to the Oracle "Solar" Supercomputer.[10]

See also


  1. "The first Commonwealth Meteorologist: the farsighted legacy of Henry A. Hunt". Bureau of Meteorology. 7 February 2012. Retrieved 17 October 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "BOM celebrates 100 years". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 1 January 2008.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Collections in Perth: 20. Meteorology". National Archives of Australia. Retrieved 24 May 2008.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Bureau of Meteorology Head Office 700 Collins Street". Bureau of Meteorology. Retrieved 24 May 2008.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Tropical Cyclone Advices, Bureau of Meteorology, 2009
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Tropical Cyclone Names". Bureau of Meteorology. Retrieved 8 August 2008.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. 7.0 7.1 "Government thanks outgoing Bureau of Meteorology director, Dr Greg Ayers". Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities. 20 February 2012. Retrieved 23 February 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. 8.0 8.1 "Bureau of Meteorology Senior Staff" (PDF). Bureau of Meteorology. 14 March 2013. Retrieved 3 November 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "The Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research". The Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research. Retrieved 3 November 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. 10.0 10.1 "NMOC Operations Bulletin No. 83: Operational implementation of the ACCESS Numerical Weather Prediction systems" (PDF). Bureau of Meteorology. 21 September 2010. Retrieved 13 July 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links