Australian Government’s Bureau of Meteorology Launches Trial Thunderstorm Tracker Online Radar for Southeast Queensland

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By Janice Somosot | December 12, 2013 2:27 PM EST

The Australian Government's Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) has just launched its trial "Thunderstorm Tracker" Online Radar for the Southeast Queensland area. According to the official Web site of the Australian Government BOM, the "Thunderstorm Tracker" aims to show the expected position and location of thunderstorms up to 30 minutes before it happens. It is reportedly based on data that is obtained from weather radar and is an extension of the BOM's radar capabilities.

The Australian Government BOM "Thunderstorm Tracker" checks the radar scans, up to the last two or three scans, and then it determines the areas that might have thunderstorm activity. These thunderstorm areas of activity are represented by ovals in the "Thunderstorm Tracker." It also shows three curves ahead of each oval which represents the expected positions of the thunderstorms in 10, 20 and 30 minutes. Plus, there are arrows found on it which shows the direction where the thunderstorms are heading.

BOM Senior Meteorologist Pradeep Singh spoke about the Southeast Queensland "Thunderstorm Tracker" in an ABC News report.

"The radar will give you location of the storm and the position over the last 30 minutes; this [new] system picks up the thunderstorm on the last location seen on the radar and projects its direction for the next 30 minutes," Singh said in the ABC News report.

However, the Australian Government BOM says that this "Thunderstorm Tracker" for Southeast Queensland will not serve as an official thunderstorm warning. It is just a guide.

"If we issue a warning, sometimes the information can be delayed and doesn't reach the community in time because [some storms] can develop severe characteristics very quickly," explained Singh in the ABC News report.

"So if people are looking at the radar, they can look at the tracker site, and they will be able to see where the storms are, rather than just waiting for the warnings," he added.

But, the BOM Southeast Queensland "Thunderstorm Tracker" does have its limitations because it can't predict thunderstorm intensity.

Once this pilot "Thunderstorm Tracker" is completed, its results will be reviewed and then, it will be implemented in the other capital cities of Australia. For now, it will only cover Southeast Queensland areas including Noosa Heads, Toowoomba, Maroochydore and the Gold Coast.

According to Singh, Southeast Queensland was chosen for the BOM "Thunderstorm Tracker" trial because the area has regular storm activity and good radar coverage.

"Initially it will be trailed in south-east Queensland; if the system works and is accepted by the community...the service will be refined over the coming months before a formal launch in most capital cities around November next year [2014]," Singh added in the ABC News report.

The Australian Government's Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) trial "Thunderstorm Tracker" Online Radar for the Southeast Queensland area is a great addition to weather tracking and forecasting. Hopefully, it will aid more people to better prepare for the onslaught of thunderstorms and they will not be as affected as much as before because they have more time to prepare and will now have more information about thunderstorms.

Check out the Australian Government's Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) trial "Thunderstorm Tracker" Online Radar for the Southeast Queensland by clicking HERE. You can also click HERE to learn more about it.

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