The Australian Open is a mid-summer event in Melbourne and will always have days of scorching temperatures of 40 degrees Celsius and over.

The tournament’s extreme heat policy calls for the roofs to be closed on the main show courts and play to be suspended on outer courts when the temperature reaches 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) and the wet-bulb globe temperature (WBGT), which takes into account humidity and wind speed, reaches 32.5 Celsius (90.5 Fahrenheit).

The high temperature Friday marginally reached 40 degrees Celsius, but the wet-bulb temperature remained below the 32.5 Celsius threshold, so play was not halted.

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According to the BoM latest Drought Statement, the rainfall for December was below to very much below average for most of the Northern Territory, Queensland, and the Goldfields region of Western Australia but a wet December in Victoria and NSW eased the deficiencies in the southeast.

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Rainfall deficiency map June-Dec 2017

Dr. J. Marshall Shepherd, Distinguished Professor at the University of Georgia in Athens and director of the university’s atmospheric science program, said in this article:

“Weather Forecasting is often perceived as guesswork by the public. There is not a meteorologist alive who has avoided jokes about the accuracy of forecasts. But these are misperceptions. The current era of weather forecasts, as witnessed during the society-altering 2017 hurricane season, is quite extraordinary because of rapid advances in meteorological knowledge, satellites, radar systems, and computer models. We now have technology in place to provide significant lead time for landfalling hurricanes, potentially tornadic storms, and multi-day flood events.”

Offshore Weather Services embraces the rapid advances in meteorological knowledge and uses the latest technology in its forecasting services.  OWS clients greatly benefit on the high accuracy of the forecasts and the extended lead time on tropical cyclone events.


Photo courtesy of NBC NEWS


335 tropical cyclones have been independently analysed and tracked by Offshore Weather Services Duty Forecasters over the Northwest Pacific, Eastern Indian Ocean, Bay of Bengal and northern Australian oceanic waters since 2008.

Using established Dvorak satellite analysis techniques from imagery received directly at the OWS satellite earth station in Melbourne, Australia, and more recently microwave imagery, scatterometer and other imaging data, OWS provide independent analysis of tropical cyclone activity in the Asia Pacific region.

As OWS celebrates its 15th years of uninterrupted service to the oil and energy industry, we look back and celebrate how the company has grown. Continuous improvement in weather forecasting technology has resulted in enormous improvements in the accuracy of marine weather, aviation and tropical cyclone forecasts.

Based on the current atmospheric dynamics and the analogue years selected, the total number of tropical cyclones should be near or slightly above the climatological average across the NW Shelf -Timor Sea, Arafura Sea-West Gulf of Carpentaria and the Coral Sea regions with about 10 expected (Range 6 to 14) and 2-7 reaching Severe Tropical Cyclone strength. Six coastal impacts (range 2-12) are expected over the three regions.

The Tropical Cyclone Season should start late November 2017 and finish in late May 2018 with 40 TC days expected.

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The Bureau of Meteorology Climate Outlook for November 2017 to January 2018 shows eastern Victoria is likely to have a wetter than average three months. The rest of the country has around a 50% chance of above average rainfall.  November is likely to be drier for most of northern WA, with highest chances in the Pilbara and Gascoyne regions.

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Chance of Above Median

Hurricane Irma is moving north over Florida after making its landfall at the Florida Keys archipelago around 9am local time.  Irma weakened after landfall with maximum sustained winds estimated to be 65kt at 11/0000UTC.  It is expected to weaken further over land and should dissipate from 13th September.

Radar Imagery courtesy of the National Weather Service.

In a rare event in the western Atlantic, three hurricanes are in a row – Katia, Irma and Jose. The strongest among the three, Hurricane Irma has already crossed the Dominican Republic and left fatalities and massive damages in its wake. Irma remains a threat to Cuba, The Bahamas and southern Florida.

  • Hurricane Katia in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico has maximum sustained winds of 80kt near the centre and is moving slowly WSW towards southern Mexico.
  • Hurricane Irma now west of Inagua Islands has maximum sustained winds of 135kt and is moving WNW skirting the northern coast of Cuba towards southern Florida.
  • The last in line, Hurricane Jose with maximum sustained winds of 110kt is moving WNW towards the northern islands of the Lesser Antilles.

Photos courtesy of the National Hurricane Centre.

Typhoon Hato is one of the strongest tropical cyclones that hit Hong Kong and Macau in the past 20 years, triggering the highest Severe Typhoon Warning 10 from the Hong Kong Observatory.

The system started as a weak circulation over the NW Pacific well east of northern Philippines on 19th August 2017. It then intensified and moved WNW-NW crossing Luzon Strait on the 21st and the northern South China Sea on the 22nd. Typhoon Hato reached maximum wind speed of 80kt at 23/0300UTC before making its landfall at Macau at 0600UTC.

Typhoon Hato left casualties and massive destruction in its wake.

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Tropical Cyclone Forecast Track issued to OWS Client 23/00UTC

Himawari-8 Vis Satellite 0300UTC 23 August 2017

Damage of Typhoon Hato at Macau
Source: Hong Kong Free Press

The Bureau of Meteorology has downgraded the ENSO Outlook from El Niño WATCH to INACTIVE.  The tropical Pacific Ocean El Niño Southern Oscillation  is likely to remain neutral for the second half of 2017.

According to BoM, the trade winds and Southern Oscillation Index are well within the neutral range.  All eight international models surveyed by the Bureau now suggest tropical Pacific Ocean temperatures are likely to remain ENSO-neutral for the rest of 2017.

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