BoM trialling beefed-up heatwave data service for councils

The Bureau of Meteorology is trialling a data and forecasting service aimed at helping councils to better plan and prepare for heatwaves.

The Bureau has been liaising with local governments in Sydney’s west regarding council requirements on heatwaves, and it recently expanded its heatwave assessments for all states and territories from three days to seven days.

As part of the data trial, the Bureau has prepared a “heatwave decision support product” and other resources which can be found at its Heatwave Knowledge Centre.

A special factsheet for councils is being readied by the BOM for distribution to councils before Christmas. Councils wanting access to these heatwave resources during the trial will need to approach their state or territory governments.

Heatwave data has been provided for South Australian communities for some years via a collaboration between the SA Government and the University of SA.

Their heatwave data model is the basis of the Bureau’s national heatwave data service which will be trialled over the current high-risk weather season, which ends in March.

Messaging for heatwaves will be similar to the current bushfire and storm/flooding alerts so there is national consistency.

At the end of the high-risk weather season, the trial will be reviewed and evaluated.

The Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) and its members are looking forward to being involved in the review process.