On the 03rd July 2015 OWS became the first commercial weather forecasting company in the Australian / Asian region to directly receive and process the new Himarawi-8 weather satellite transmissions. The  JMA Himarawi-8 satellite will eventually replace the MtSat satellite that has been providing global satellite imagery for over a decade. The new H-8 satellite produces global images every 10 min in 16 frequency bands. This a great improvement on the 1 hour global images and 5 frequency channels produced by the MtSat  satellite and will mean even greater accuracy in weather analysis, squall and tropical cyclone forecasting from the OWS forecasting team.


Offshore Weather Services installed their new 2.2m antenna on the roof of their forecast office in Melbourne ready to receive the first official Himawari-8 satellite images when they become available in early July 2015. The Himarawi-8 antenna replaced the MTSat LRit antenna which was used by the Company as a standby / backup should anything fail on the primary MTSat HRit satellite earth station that OWS have enjoyed for over 11 years.

Himarawi 8 will become the primary weather satellite used by OWS for cloud analysis, squall and tropical cyclone detection and tracking. With global images available every 10 minutes, and utilising 14 frequency channels Himarawi-8 is a major advance is satellite imagery reception and will lead to more accurate weather forecasts provided by Offshore Weather Services.



131107142831-02-typhoon-1107-story-topThe current atmospheric and oceanic indicators and atmospheric climate models are all signifying the 2015 NW Pacific Tropical Cyclone season will be an El Niño event.   Due to the current high El Nino 3.4 conditions, the usual method of creating a seasonal forecast based on past years is not as effective as it requires a number of years with a pattern of similar conditions.   As such, this interim report is issued with the full TC Season Outlook to follow in 1-2 months once conditions have become more stable and clear.

In an El Niño, the NW Pacific can expect to have an increase in the number of Tropical Cyclones overall. However, there would be expected to be a general shift eastwards to over the central Pacific, and most systems would have a longer duration and greater intensity than the climate average. The eastwards shift would result in fewer systems affecting the South China Sea and far west Pacific, but the ones that do move into the region will have greater intensity. We can also expect some systems to form closer to the equator, possibly affecting southern Philippines/Sulu Sea region.

Conditions are expected to stabilise by June-July so a full NW Pacific TC Season Outlook will be issued then.

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2015-APPEA-logo-webOffshore Weather Services will have a stand at the APPEA 2015 Oil and Gas Conference and Exhibition being held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre on May 18-20, 2015. This is a great opportunity to come and see what world leading technology Offshore Weather Services brings to the weather forecasts we provide to the offshore industry and a chance to talk to our friendly Marketing team comprising Phil Atkinson, Angelo Portelli and Aila Aguilar about the wide range of weather and oceanographic products and services we can provide for you.

We will be located at Booth 374 so please stop by for a chat. For meeting request please click the link below.


The APPEA Oil and Gas Conference & Exhibition is the largest oil and gas event in the southern hemisphere with delegates coming from Australia and around the world to attend. The APPEA 2015 Conference program includes international keynote speakers, case study presentations, technical updates and panel discussions.

The Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association (APPEA) is the peak national body representing Australia’s oil and gas exploration and production industry this website. Amongst the 80 full members are key leaders in the Australian oil and gas industry, accounting for an estimated 98 per cent of the nation’s oil and gas production. APPEA also has more than 230 associate member companies that provide a wide range of goods and services to the upstream oil and gas industry.

Offshore Weather Services provided weather forecasting services and the on board weather forecaster for the installation of the 37,000ton Chevron Wheatstone gas production topsides over the NW Shelf, Australia. Heerema Marine Contractors Nederland SE (HMC) were contracted by Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering to bring the topsides from the fabrication yard in Korea and do the installation to the SGS (Steel Gravity Structure) that had been pre-installed (by HMC) in early September 2014.

The topsides were towed by three tugs and made good progress down the East China Sea and the east coast of the Philippines before passing through the Sulu and Java Sea on their way to the Wheatstone field. OWS provided the weather forecast services for this voyage as the vessels passed safely ahead of Super Typhoon MAYSAK over the North West Pacific Ocean and arrived at the Wheatstone location on the 08th April as another tropical cyclone (IKOLA) was dissipating 1000nm to the southwest of the site.

Peter Wellby, Offshore Weather Services Operations Manager sailed with the HMC installation engineers from Dampier on the command vessel Southern Ocean a few days before the arrival of the topsides and provided the site weather forecasts, detailed daily weather briefings and consultation leading up to the float over operation. Working closely with the HMC Marine Engineers and using sophisticated atmospheric and wave models, spectral wave analysis techniques and vessel motion simulation suitable weather ‘windows’ were determined.

The weather conditions during the actual operation were near perfect with long period W’ly swell produced a few days earlier by TC IKOLA decreasing and the prevailing SW’ly swell from the Southern Ocean at a seasonal low. Even the wind Gods were kind producing light, cooling winds that provided a comfortable working environment.

This is the third float over operation that Peter has worked closely with HMC in achieving a safe and successful operation. The other operations were the Malampaya – Shell, Philippines and North Rankin B – Woodside, Australia.

In January 2015 Offshore Weather Services Managing Director and Certified Meteorological Consultant, Peter Wellby attended the Annual American Meteorological Society Conference held this year in Phoenix, Arizona. As usual the conference was well attended and informative and allowed an opportunity to catch up with acquaintances and to be informed about the latest developments within the meteorological, oceanographic and climate disciplines.amsseal-blue2

Offshore Weather Services continues to enhance its wave modelling skills in line with the company’s objective to provide clients with accurate wind and wave forecasts.  OWS Numerical Modelling Specialist Dr. Simon Caine and Marine Forecaster Alistair McKelvie recently attended the ‘Wave Modelling Workshop with WAVEWATCH III’ at the <a title="COEST" href="http://www.swinburne.edu click to read more.au/science-engineering-technology/oceanography/”>Centre for Ocean Engineering, Science and Technology (COEST) Swinburne University on 17-21 November 2014.

The 5-day wave modelling workshop was a collaboration between COEST of Swinburne University and NCEP/NOAA.  It was run by Prof. Alex Babanin and Dr. Stefan Zieger from Swinburne University, and Dr. Andre van der Westhuysen from the WWIII development group at NOAA.  The workshop discussed the theoretical and practical introduction to the model and included information on recent development.

Knowledge and skills learned from the workshop are taken on board by Simon and are currently being integrated in the OWS wave models, while Alistair is working on the new wave system tracking feature.


Peter Wellby, Eric Tiong Dave Duncalf, and Alistair McKelvie were amongst the meteorology experts that attended the 8th Annual CAWCR Workshop held at the Bureau of Meteorology office in Melbourne on 10-12 November 2014.

The Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research (CAWCR) is a partnership between the Australian Bureau of Meteorology and CSIRO.  The annual workshop brings together a large number of Australian national experts from the Bureau of Meteorology, CSIRO, Australian universities and research centres, private weather service providers as well as a number of prominent overseas scientists.

The theme of this year’s workshop was ‘Coasts and Extremes,’ which included extreme weather due to tropical cyclones, storm surge, wind-waves and tsunamis, coincident extremes, real-time forecasting and coastal adaptation, future changes in ocean temperature and acidity and renewable energy.

Andre van der Westhuysen from NOAA was the keynote speaker and his insight into the operational surge and wave models was extremely interesting and useful to the OWS Operational Forecast Centre in Melbourne. The last two days focused on Tropical Cyclones that are very relevant to OWS tropical cyclone track forecasting.

Peter, Eric, Dave and Alistair’s attendance to this workshop ensures OWS is using the latest techniques in marine weather wind and wave forecasting.

Offshore Weather Services (OWS) predicts average to below average frequency of Tropical Cyclones over the Australian Region for the 2014/15 Tropical Cyclone Season.  Neutral El Nińo Southern Oscillation conditions are expected to persist, with weak El Nińo conditions possible early to mid season.  These conditions should cause about or slightly below average frequency of Tropical Cyclones over the region, about 5-10 expected, with 2-7 becoming Severe Tropical Cyclones.  Slightly fewer coastal impacts are also expected.

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The Parameterized Tropical Cyclone Wind / Wave Workshop held on 22 August 2014 at the AMDC Building, Swinburne University brought together meteorologists and oceanographers from academia, public and the private industry from Australia and overseas.  Organised by Dave Duncalf, OWS Manager for Research and Development and Alex Babanin,  Director Centre for Ocean Engineering, Science and Technology Swinburne, the workshop aimed to discuss developments in tropical cyclone, wind and wave modelling and extreme weather conditions associated with tropical cyclone events.

A tour of the of the Offshore Weather Services Forecasting Centre in Melbourne by some of the attendees was followed by a brief bus ride  to Swinburne University newly opened AMDC Building at their Hawthorn campus where the main talks and discussions were to take place. After introductory speeches by OWS Managing Director Peter Wellby, Alex Babanin and Swinburne University Deputy Vice-Chancellor George Collins, Professor Ian Young, Vice Chancellor Australian National University started the workshop  with his talk, “A Parametric Model for Tropical Cyclone Waves.”

Other speakers include, Simon Caine and Dave Duncalf (OWS), Noel Davidson, Jeff Keppert, Andrew Donaldson and Jason Brownlee (Bureau of Meteorology), Kevin Walsh (Melbourne University), Alex Babanin and Stefan Zieger (Swinburne University), Jessica Sweeney (RPS MetOcean) and Joanna Burston (Griffith University).

The workshop was well attended  and considered to be very informative and a good informal forum for the exchange of ideas on these two idifferent but interrelated  topics.  OWS would welcome the opportunity to make the forum a regular occurrence where the latest advances in meteorology and related studies are discussed.  OWS in its commitment to utilise the latest technology in it’s marine and aviation forecasting services will continue to support events such as these.OWSWS-14