A major upgrade to Bureau of Meteorology forecast and warning services for the Northern Territory will see many locations receive 7-day weather forecasts for the first time from today.

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment Simon Birmingham said the Next Generation Forecast and Warning System (NexGenFWS) would see 96 locations in the Northern Territory receive 7-day forecasts, including large population centres such as Darwin and Alice Springs, as well as more remote communities.

“The provision of 7-day forecasts will equip Territorians with more information to make better weather-related decisions for safety and prosperity, or to simply maximise the outdoor pursuits the Territory is renowned for,” Senator Birmingham said.

“Some of the Territory's extraordinary national parks, wilderness and cultural heritage areas, such as Kakadu National Park, will now receive detailed weather forecasts, offering a real boost in the level of service for tourism operators and those living in remote areas.”

Natasha Griggs MP, the Federal Member for Solomon, said as well as more detailed forecast information on temperature, rainfall and winds, the Bureau will also be able to provide more localised weather warning services.

“In particular, this new service will provide communities in regional and remote areas with more comprehensive weather information, with particular benefits for the emergency services community,” Mrs Griggs said.

“With the wet season almost upon us, the more detailed weather forecasts will allow regional and remote communities to better prepare for the risks associated with tropical weather.

The major changes to land and marine forecast services in the Northern Territory include:

  • 7-day icon and summary forecasts for 96 locations including three national parks (Kakadu, Litchfield and Uluru-Kata Tjuta);
  • Rainfall probabilities and amounts for Darwin and Alice Springs forecasts;
  • 4-day coastal waters forecasts with information on winds, seas and swells;
  • Marine Wind Warnings for the current day and the next day included in the coastal waters forecast; and
  • Improvements for agricultural services with wind speed and wind variations described in more detail in km/h, to help with planned spraying, and controlled burning.

For more information visit www.bom.gov.au/NexGenFWS/