Offshore Weather Services is proud to sponsor the Hastings Yacht Club 2014 Winter Series for off the beach dinghy sailing. Sailing every second Sunday a fleet of about 13 boats take to the water off Hastings, Victoria and enjoy a competitive afternoon of sailing. The sailors are divided into two groups with 8-10 young boys and girls sailing the same, but slightly shorter race course than a group of adults.  Sailing the same single handed Laser dinghy but with slightly smaller rigs and sail area the two fleets make an impressive sight skimming past the Hasting Public Pier on a windy and sunny afternoon. Other classes of dinghy and beach catarmarans also take part in the races on a handicap system but the biggest fleet at Hastings Yacht Club is the Laser dinghy.

Hastings Yacht Club encourages the participation of people of all ages and gender to get onto the water on a sail boat with sailing races held on Saturdays for yachts, trailer sailors and multihulls. The yacht club  also promote disabled sailing with a group of the club members teaching disabled people young and old in the delightful skills of sailboat handling and the joy of just being on the water under sail.

Off the beach winter race at Hastings, Victoria

Off the beach winter race at Hastings, Victoria

NWS Squall

Offshore Weather Services has been providing a squall monitoring and squall forecasting service in support of Woodside Energy Limited operations over the NW Shelf, Western Australia for the past 5 months.

Squall events over the NW Shelf and along the Pilbara coast are not frequent but when they do occur they are likely to be of a severe variety with winds speeds in excess of 35kt. Squalls are characterized by a very rapid onset of winds well above those prevailing at the time. These elevated winds strengths last for several minutes before gradually decreasing. Squalls pose a very real risk to the safety of operations, have been known to cause significant damage to assets in the region and are an unwelcome disruption to operations.

OWS utilise the high resolution Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) atmospheric model programmed by OWS’s modelling specialist Dr Simon Caine to assist forecasters in evaluating the potential risk of squalls developing, their expected movement and intensity. Specialised tracking software is then used to track individual cells or squall lines giving more accurate predictions as to the timing and likely impact at the client’s locations. Surface and upper air observations, radar and satellite data are additional tools to assist with squall monitoring and development.

A squall event occurred on 10 February 2014 producing sustained winds to 35kt (as recorded at Lagendre Island) and with gusts to over 50kt.  The WRF model captured the event very well as shown by the simulated radar images for 1200-1400UTC, and is an invaluable and proven aid in the forecasting of squall events.

OWS has been providing similar squall warnings to clients throughout Southeast Asia for many years utilising the same technology as introduced to the NW Shelf.


Super Typhoon HAIYAN 6 November 2013 approaching Philippines.

Offshore Weather Services predicts 24 tropical cyclones over the NW Pacific region in the 2014 Tropical Cyclone Season, which is close to normal. About 9 tropical cyclones are expected to affect the South China Sea, which is below climate average. The TC intensities are expected to be above normal compared to the climate average during the 2014 TC Season.

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    h1-amos-logoOver two fair days in Hobart, OWS Senior Forecaster Angelo Portelli attended many and varied presentations at the AMOS Conference held at Grand Chancellor Hotel on February 13-14, 2014.

    The Thursday morning sessions provided excellent presentations by Sally Lavender on the influence of sea surface temperature on Severe Tropical Cyclone Yasi.  Also notable was the presentation of evidence of low-level volcanic ash clouds during the 2008 Chilean eruption by Andrew Prata.

    The session attended on Thursday afternoon was the “The weather and climate of the Maritime Continent region in observations and models” including a presentation by Jules Kajtar on the importance of the atmospheric bridge on the Indo-Pacific climate feedback interactions. Another interesting presentation was also provided by Eric Oliver on the Madden-Julian Oscillation and the Gulf of Thailand sea level and circulation variability.

    After an excellent dinner at MONA (Museum of Old and New Art) the previous night, Friday brought new sessions on “Waves and Coastal Inundation” and “The Structure, Dynamics and Predictability of High Impact Weather”. An update on the operational wave model in the Bureau of Meteorology was provided by Aihong Zhong in the former session, along with an excellent presentation by Joanna Burston on the potential for forecasting of coastal inundation from Tropical Cyclones using case studies from QLD in the latter session.

    The latter session included two more interesting presentations specific to tropical cyclone eyewall replacement cycles and then dynamical sensitivity of tropical cyclones to SST. Also, an update on the U.S. CLIVAR Hurricane Working Group activities was provided by Kevin Walsh.

    The Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society (AMOS) is an independent Australian society that supports and fosters interest in meteorology, oceanography and other related sciences, providing a forum for people with a common interest, and by publishing relevant material.

    Early trials of the WRF ARW high resolution mesoscale atmospheric model developed by Dr Simon Caine specifically for squall forecasting in the Gulf of Thailand have shown great promise with convective cells being accurately modelled both temporally and spatially when compared with available radar data. This model is in the early stages of development and further refinement of the model’s convective parameterisations are expected to yield even better results resulting in more accurate squall forecasts for OWS clients in the Gulf of Thailand as the 2014 squall season begins from early May.

    The Advanced Research WRF (ARW) is one of the two dynamical core versions of WRF.

    For more information on OWS modeling capabilities, please contact us through our Contact link.


    3slp-14 3slp-11

    wrf_logoOWS Weather Forecaster, Alistair McKelvie, attended the WRF Tutorial and Workshop held at the University of New South Wales in Sydney on February 24-28, 2014 to keep up to date with the model system, latest developments, evaluations and applications.

    The event was run by members of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), a consortium of more than 100 member colleges and universities focused on research and training in the atmospheric and related Earth system sciences.  The WRF tutorial and workshop is the first to be held outside of the USA.  The four day tutorial explained the model system, how to run, customize, and use the output.  The workshop was held on the final day which included talks from visiting UCAR members, local academics and students about research relating to WRF and its applications.

    The WRF is the next-generation mesoscale numerical weather prediction system designed to serve the atmospheric research and operational forecasting.  WRF features multiple dynamical cores allowing parallel computation and system extensibility.  WRF serves a wide range of meteorological applications giving spatial resolution ranging from a few meters to thousands of

    Offshore Weather Services have already set up WRF atmospheric model grids over the entire South China Sea, Gulf of Thailand, NW Shelf and Bass Strait in Australia.

    For more information on OWS modeling capabilities, please contact us through our Contact link.

    Offshore Weather Services was commissioned by UTEC and Saipem to provide onsite weather forecasting support during the installation of the Zawtika topside in the Gulf of Mottama, Myanmar.  The Zawtika Project is a gas field development project between partners PTTEP International Limited (PTTEPI) as operator and Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE).

    The ZPQ is an integrated platform which combined both natural gas processing facilities and living quarters into a single platform. The topside weighs 16,500 metric ton (MT) and is one of the largest topside structures installed in South East Asia. It was designed and constructed by SOME (Singapore) with Saipem engaged for the installation.

    OWS Director and Senior Forecaster Eric Tiong was the Meteorological Consultant on board the support vessel PW Natuna and worked directly with and advised the operations personnel responsible for the successful float over which occurred during the early morning on 21st October 2013.

    Zawtika topside being towed

    Zawtika topside being towed

    Offshore Weather Services have recently conducted the PTTEP 2013 Tropical Cyclone Briefings and assisted in the Typhoon Exercise in preparation for the 2013 Tropical Cyclone Season in the Gulf of Thailand.

    Offshore Weather Services senior forecasters Peter Wellby and Aila Aguilar took turns and went around the PTTEP assets in the Gulf of Thailand to conduct the Tropical Cyclone Briefings. The briefings covered the tropical cyclone risk in the region, TC forecast tracks and warnings issued during cyclone occurrences and the PTTEP TC Emergency Response Zones. A ‘Tropical Cyclone Exercise’ followed.

    The Gulf of Thailand normally has one to two Tropical Cyclone threats each year, occurring mainly in the months of October to December. The region has been affected by 23 tropical cyclones for the past 21 years with 17 tracking across the gulf at varying intensities.

    2013 PTTEP TC Briefing

    Super Typhoon Haiyan (OWS32N13) with packing winds of 140kt is now crossing central Philippines. It is expected to cause high storm surges and massive damage over the region.

    Super Tyhpoon Haiyan has already battered Palau Island and parts of the Micronesia yesterday and is now ripping through the Visayan islands in the Philippines.

    Haiyan is expected to be west of northern Palawan early morning on the 9th and should cross the central South China Sea to make its third landfall over central Vietnam on the 10th.


    Offshore Weather Services, business partners, academic community and clients celebrated the opening of the newly renovated OWS office in Melbourne on 3 May 2013. The office was under construction for nine months and now features a modern and environmentally friendly design.

    Monash City Mayor Micaela Drieberg graced the occasion and cut the ribbon. Also attending were Vadim Anokhin from Woodside, Prof Alex Babanin from Swinburne University, Prof Kevin Welsh from University of Melbourne, representatives from Environmental Systems and Services, Mr Gary Flannigan, the Architect of the renovations: Richard Barrack and the builder Mr Andre Garnaut. Following the ribbon cutting ceremony, the Mayor and guests were given a tour of the new office.

    “First of all a big THANK YOU to you all for attending this very special occasion. For those that have been with the Company from the beginning this is indeed a very welcome period in the history of Offshore  Weather Services.

    I would like to extend a warm thank our wonderful culturally diverse and very talented staff that have put up with less than optimum working conditions for too long a time.

    Last but certainly by no means least I would like to thank the Mayor of Monash City for gracing us today and making this indeed a very special occasion” said Mr Peter Wellby, Chairman of the Board of Directors.

    The Melbourne office is the main operations centre of OWS with satellite offices and branches in Perth, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Manila.

    Marine and Aviation Weather Forecasting Specialists.