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What is Map?

Map images show ACCESS or GFS hourly (hourly, 3-hourly or 6-hourly) forecasts over specific regions for the next ten days. The maps display forecasts of total, low, middle and high cloud cover, fog, wind, jetstream, pressure, rainfall, temperature, humidity and precipitable water.

To change the map model, from the Map page, swipe over the model name in the title of the map, or select the ACCESS or GFS button. The map time, type and region will remain unchanged. The meteogram location will be displayed with a rotating pin, and when selected will display the forecast meteogram.

To change the map time (+1, +3, +6, +9 ... +240), from the Map page, swipe over the middle of the map horizontally to the right to increase the time, or to the left to decrease the time. The default increment/decrement is 1, 3 or 6 hours. You can also use the buttons under the map to change the time. NOW will reset the map time to the earliest available. 1h, 3h, 6h, 12h and 1d will increase/decrease the map time by the value displayed on the button. Any subsequent swipe over the middle of the map horizontally will change the time by that value. If you move forward/backward past the end/start time, you will move back to the start/end time. The map model, type and region will remain unchanged. The meteogram location will be displayed with a rotating pin, and when selected will display the forecast meteogram.

To change the map type, from the Map page, swipe over the map vertically up or down, or select the Total Cloud, Fog (ACCESS only), Low Cloud, Middle Cloud, High Cloud, Pressure/Rainfall, Wind, Jetstream, Temperature, Humidity or Precipitable Water button. The map model, time and region will remain unchanged. The Fog, Pressure/Rainfall, Temperature, Humidity and Precipitable Water buttons are available from the Other Map Types button. The meteogram location will be displayed with a rotating pin, and when selected will display the forecast meteogram.

To change the map region (Australia, SE Australia, Victoria, New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory, SE Queensland, North Queensland, Northern Territory, Central Australia, NW Western Australia, SW Western Australia, South Australia, Tasmania, New Zealand), from the Map page, swipe over the region name in the title of the map, or select the Australia map in the top left corner of your display or the REGION button. Select the region required from the list of choices displayed. The map model, time and type will remain unchanged. The meteogram location will be reset to the capital city associated with the selected region and be displayed with a rotating pin, and when selected will display the forecast meteogram.

Animating Map Image

To animate the map images, from the Map page, select the Play/Stop Animation button on the top right of the map or the Map Loop/Image button to start/stop the map image animation. Swiping the map horizontally will also stop the animation. To scrub the timeline swipe the animation horizontally to interact with the images while playing.

The default map animation ranges are +1h to +36h (ACCESS-C), +3h to +120h (GFS),+36h to +120h (ACCESS-R/G) and +120h to +240h (ACCESS-G/GFS). To animate the whole 10 days range select the All/Range Animation icon in the top left corner of the map image.

The map model, time, type and region will remain unchanged. The meteogram location will be displayed with a rotating pin, and when selected will display the forecast meteogram.


Overlaying Map Image

To overlay the map images, from the Map page, select the base map type, and using the padlock, select the overlay map type. Selecting other map types will either change the base or overlay (if using padlock) layer. To clear the overlay layer, re-select the overlay map type using the padlock.

What is Synoptic Chart?

Synoptic Chart is the latest colour mean sea-level pressure analysis from the Bureau of Meteorology, updated every 6 hours, freely available (in real-time) for non-commercial use at Bureau of Meteorology FTP Server. To display the latest synoptic chart select the SYNOPTIC CHART button on the Map or Satellite pages.



To animate the synoptic chart images, swipe over the middle of the image horizontally or select the Play/Stop Animation button on the top right of the map or select the Chart Loop/Image button to start/stop the chart image animation. To scrub the timeline swipe the animation horizontally to interact with the images while playing. Synoptic charts over the last 7 days (default) or 14 days will be displayed.

What is Meteogram?

Meteogram images show a summary of ACCESS and/or GFS forecasts over the next ten days (Day 1, Days 1-3, Days 3-5 and Days 5-10) for particular locations. The meteograms (time-series graphs) present detailed cloud information or a summary comparison of the two models. The table displays hourly (3-hourly or 6-hourly) values of the temperature, rainfall, wind, pressure, humidity, fog and total, low, middle and high cloud cover.

To change the meteogram time (Day 1, Days 1-3, Days 3-5 or Days 5-10), from the Meteogram page, swipe over the middle of the meteogram horizontally to display the meteogram for Day 1, Days 1-3, Days 3-5 or Days 5-10 or click on the corresponding buttons (D1, D1-3, D3-5, D5-10) under the meteogram. The meteogram type and location will remain unchanged.

To change the meteogram type, from the Meteogram page, swipe over the meteogram vertically up or down, or select the GFS/ACCESS (cloud), ACCESS (cloud), GFS (cloud), ACCESS or GFS button. The meteogram time and location will remain unchanged.

To change the meteogram location, from the Meteogram page, select the Australia map in the top left corner of your display or the LOCATION button. Select the state and location required from the list of choices displayed. The meteogram time and type will remain unchanged.

What is Forecast?

Forecast is the official forecast from the Bureau of Meteorology, freely available (in real-time) for non-commercial use at Bureau of Meteorology FTP Server. To display the latest forecast for the selected location select the FORECAST button on the Meteogram or Dark Sky pages.

(Bureau Forecast Accuracy)

What is the ACCESS model?

Australian Bureau of Meteorology Australian Community and Earth-System Simulator (ACCESS) models - ACCESS-C (city - 1.5km resolution: VT-Victoria/Tasmania, SY-Sydney, BN-Brisbane, PH-Perth, AD-Adelaide, DN-Darwin), with hourly forecast parameters out to 36 hours, updated 4 times per day (00, 06, 12, 18 UTC); ACCESS-R (regional - 12km resolution), with hourly forecast parameters out to 3 days (+72 hours), updated 4 times per day (00, 06, 12, 18 UTC); and ACCESS-G (global - 25km resolution), with three hourly forecast parameters out to 10 days (+240 hours), updated 2 times per day (00, 12 UTC), freely available (in real-time) for research use at Bureau of Meteorology OPeNDAP server.

When is the ACCESS model data updated?

ACCESS-C 12 UTC (01:00-03:30)
ACCESS-R 12 UTC (01:00-03:00)
ACCESS-G 12 UTC (05:30-07:00)
ACCESS-C 18 UTC (07:00-09:30)
ACCESS-R 18 UTC (07:00-09:00)
ACCESS-C 00 UTC (13:00-15:30)
ACCESS-R 00 UTC (13:00-15:00)
ACCESS-G 00 UTC (17:30-19:00)
ACCESS-C 06 UTC (19:00-21:30)
ACCESS-R 06 UTC (19:00-21:00)
(Melbourne/Sydney local time)

What is the GFS model?

United States National Center for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) Global (28km resolution) operational Forecast System (GFS) model with hourly forecast parameters out to 5 days (+120 hours) and 3-hourly forecast parameters out to 10 days (+240 hours), updated 4 times per day (00, 06, 12, 18 UTC), freely available (in real-time) for commercial use at NOMADS (NOAA Operational Model Archive and Distribution System).

When is the GFS model data updated?

GFS 12 UTC (03:30-05:30)
GFS 18 UTC (09:30-11:30)
GFS 00 UTC (15:30-17:30)
GFS 06 UTC (21:30-23:30)
(Melbourne/Sydney local time)

Where are the VIC Meteogram locations?



Legend: Public / Member / Supporter / Dedicated

Where are the NSW Meteogram locations?



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Where are the ACT Meteogram locations?



Legend: Public / Member / Supporter / Dedicated

Where are the QLD Meteogram locations?



Legend: Public / Member / Supporter / Dedicated


Where are the NT Meteogram locations?



Legend: Public / Member / Supporter / Dedicated


Where are the WA Meteogram locations?



Legend: Public / Member / Supporter / Dedicated


Where are the SA Meteogram locations?



Legend: Public / Member / Supporter / Dedicated

Where are the TAS Meteogram locations?



Legend: Public / Member / Supporter / Dedicated

Where are the NZ Meteogram locations?



Legend: Public / Member / Supporter / Dedicated

What is Radar?

Radar images from the Bureau of Meteorology public radar network, updated every six or ten minutes, freely available (in real time) for non-commercial use at Bureau of Meteorology FTP Server.

The radar images are presented without location names using a modified colour palette for greater clarity.

Changing Radar Location

To change the radar location, from the Map, Meteogram, Radar or Satellite page, select the rotating radar icon on your display. The selected radar icon will be highlighted and the corresponding radar image displayed. The radar range will remain unchanged.

Changing Radar Range

To change the radar range, from the Radar page, swipe over the map vertically up or down, or select the Radar 512km, Radar 256km, Radar 128km or Radar 64km button. The radar location will remain unchanged.

Animating Radar Image

To animate the radar images, from the Radar page, swipe over the middle of the image horizontally or select the Play/Stop Animation button on the top right of the map or select the RADAR Loop/Image button to start/stop the radar image animation. To scrub the timeline swipe the animation horizontally to interact with the images while playing. The radar location and range will remain unchanged. The meteogram location will be displayed with a rotating pin, and when selected will display the forecast meteogram.

How does the Cloud Free Night service operate?

The Cloud Free Night service is hosted on a leased Linux Virtual Private Server (VPS), with IDL® (Harris Geospatial Solutions) installed and licensed (esri Australia). IDL® applications are run automatically to download (using OPeNDAP) the GFS/ACCESS model forecast data and Bureau of Meteorology radar and Himawari-8 satellite images, to produce the forecast maps, meteograms, radar and satellite images available from this VPS-hosted website. IDL® is a registered trademark of Harris Geospatial Solutions for their Interactive Data Language (IDL) software, used by astronomers worldwide. Esri Australia is the official local distributor of IDL®.

What is Satellite?

Satellite images originally processed by the Bureau of Meteorology from the geostationary satellite Himawari-8 operated by the Japan Meteorological Agency, updated every ten minutes, freely available (in real-time) for non-commercial use at Bureau of Meteorology FTP Server. The high-definition satellite images are conveniently matched to the forecast map regions.

Day + Night: True-colour images based on reflected visible light. These are useful, for example, for identifying fog and low cloud, which may not be visible in thermal infrared images because it has a similar temperature to the ground below. The visible light images only show parts of the Earth that are in daylight. Areas with no sunlight to reflect are replaced with greyscale thermal infrared imagery. To match the familiar colour of clouds, the infrared imagery colour table is inversed, which shows cloud as shades of white.

Visible Greyscale: Greyscale images based on one single visible wavelength (in comparison to the true colour image which combines three). These images will appear black in regions of no sunlight, i.e. night-time.

Infrared Greyscale: Infrared (IR) images are derived from radiation emitted from the Earth and its atmosphere at thermal-infrared wavelengths (10-12 um). These images provide information on the temperature of the underlying surface or cloud. IR images are available 24 hours per day because temperatures can always be measured. This is in contrast to visible images, which are only available during daylight hours. Temperatures are represented by a greyscale, where black and white represent the hottest and coldest areas respectively. As clouds tend to be cooler than the ground or sea below (not always the case for low-lying clouds), they appear as light grey to white.

Infrared + Zehr: Ray Zehr from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration developed the Zehr enhancement, which applies temperature colour ranges to the cold end of the scale. This highlights deep convection that is generally associated with tropical cyclones and thunderstorms. These images can be useful in tracking the movement of tropical cyclones.

Water Vapour: Colour-enhanced images showing a measure of the amount of water vapour contained in the mid to upper levels of the troposphere. These images can be used to determine moisture advection (horizontal transport from one region to another), vertical movement of air (rising and sinking or air) and synoptic features such as short wave troughs, ridges and jet streams. Colour-enhanced imagery helps to show how saturated an area is.


Changing Satellite Type

To change the satellite image type, from the Satellite page, swipe the satellite image vertically up or down, or select the Day + Night, Visible Greyscale, Infrared Greyscale, Infrared + Zehr or Water Vapour button. The satellite region will remain unchanged. The meteogram location will be displayed with a rotating pin, and when selected will display the forecast meteogram. Visit the Bureau of Meteorology Satellite Viewer About Page for more information about the satellite images or watch the following video.


Changing Satellite Region

To change the satellite region (Australia, SE Australia, Victoria, New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory, SE Queensland, North Queensland, Northern Territory, Central Australia, NW Western Australia, SW Western Australia, South Australia, Tasmania), from the Satellite page, swipe over the region name in the title of the image, or select the Australia map in the top left corner of your display or the REGION button. Select the region required from the list of choices displayed. The satellite type will remain unchanged. The meteogram location will be displayed with a rotating pin, and when selected will display the forecast meteogram.

Animating Satellite Image

To animate the satellite images, from the Satellite page, swipe over the middle of the image horizontally or select the Play/Stop Animation button on the top right of the map or select the SATELLITE Loop/Image button to start/stop the satellite image animation. To scrub the timeline swipe the animation horizontally to interact with the images while playing. Satellite images over the last 2 hours (default), 4 hours or 6 hours will be displayed. To change the time period click on the corresponding button (2h, 4h, 6h) under the satellite image. The satellite type and region will remain unchanged. The meteogram location will be displayed with a rotating pin, and when selected will display the forecast meteogram.

Switching between Map, Meteogram and Satellite

To switch between Map, Meteogram or Satellite, swipe the website top banner from left or right, or right to left. If you change your map or satellite region and then select Meteogram the location will be reset to the capital city associated with the selected region. If you change your meteogram location and then select Map or Satellite the region will automatically revert to the region associated with the selected meteogram location.

What is Cloud Camera (CLOUDCAM)?

Cloud Camera images from Airservices Australia (Bureau of Meteorology) Live Weather Cameras and The Australian Weathercam Network, and webcams and all sky camera images from various websites around Australia.

To display the nearest cloud camera to the current meteogram location select the CLOUDCAM button on the Dark Sky, Meteogram, Radar or Satellite page. The cloud camera image(s) will be displayed with the cloud camera name, display/hide overlay and astronomy/storm mode toggles, and a list of other cloud cameras. More than one camera image may be displayed by sliding the scroll bar or swiping the screen. Cardinal points will be plotted on top of the image. If Display Overlay is selected, icons for other cloud cameras may be plotted on top of the camera images. In Astronomy Mode, only your selected cloud cameras will be plotted as icons on the camera image, map, radar and satellite pages. In Storm Mode, all cloud cameras will be plotted as icons on the camera image, map, radar and satellite pages.

Displaying Location

To display any location on the map, radar or satellite image, from the Map, Radar or Satellite page, select the Australia map in the top left corner of your display or the REGION button. Enter the postcode or name of your location in the Location field and press enter or select the magnifying glass button. You will be presented with a list of corresponding suburbs if you have entered a postcode, or similarly named suburbs in various states, if you have entered the name of the location. Choose your location and select the Go to Map button to view your location, as a red pulsating pin, on the map. Alternatively, you can select the red pulsating pin to directly access the GPS locator to find your current location, or enter your latitude and longitude coordinates. To remove the location pin displayed on the maps, select the Australia map in the top left corner of your display or the REGION button, and select the now highlighted red pulsating pin to remove the GPS pin.

Tablets and Mobile Phones

The Cloud Free Night website has been optimised for mobile devices. The images will preload to minimize flickering between displays. The load times will depend on your connection speed.

Night Vision Mode

To change your display to a red filter select the moon/star icon in the top right corner of your display. This icon design is also a visual indication of the current moon phase.

What is Dark Sky?

Dark Sky images show, meteogram-style, ACCESS or GFS hourly, total cloud cover forecast and moon phase (% illumination), and moon/sun rise/set times for particular locations out to ten days, to identify dark sky night opportunities. Dark sky night hours are defined by cloud cover < 20% and moon illumination < 50% (or no moon), and are displayed using star icons near the top of the graph. The table displays values of the moon rise/set times and phase, forecast cloud cover, wind and jetstream speeds during the night time hours using colour, transparency and symbols to visually depict the moon phase and dark sky night opportunities. The star icons correspond to those in the graph but are blurred based on the forecast seeing conditions (i.e. wind and jetstream speeds).

You can change the table background using the Display/Hide Dark Sky Background toggle on the myCFN page.

To change the dark sky model, from the Dark Sky page, swipe over the graph vertically up or down to display the dark sky meteogram for ACCESS or GFS, or select the ACCESS or GFS button. The dark sky time and location will remain unchanged.

To change the dark sky location, from the Dark Sky page, select the Australia map in the top left corner of your display or the LOCATION button. Select the state and location required from the list of choices displayed. The dark sky meteogram for the selected location will be displayed. The dark sky model and time will remain unchanged.

What is Climate?

Climate images show Australian Water Availability Project (AWAP) climate average and classification maps and graphs, and climate reanalysis maps. The images display monthly, seasonal and annual average maps of rainfall, maximum and minimum temperature, cloud cover and pressure, and climate zone (group and class) maps and (trend) graphs.

What is Climate Average?

Climate Average is an update of the Bureau of Meteorology's Maps of average conditions using the latest (December 2016) Australian Water Availability Project (AWAP) monthly rainfall, and maximum and minimum temperature analyses (1911-2015), downloaded from the Bureau's online archive. Long term-averages (using 10, 20, 30 and 40 year averaging periods) are calculated from the monthly AWAP data. Monthly, seasonal and annual average rainfall, maximum and minimum temperature images are generated from these long-term averages to represent the past climate.

What is Climate Classification?

Climate Classification is an update of the Bureau of Meteorology's Climate Zones using the latest (December 2016) Australian Water Availability Project (AWAP) monthly rainfall, and maximum and minimum temperature analyses (1911-2015), downloaded from the Bureau's online archive. Long term-averages (using 10, 20, 30 and 40 year averaging periods) are calculated from the monthly AWAP data. Climate classification (group, class and trend) images, based on the Bureau's modified Koppen classification, are created from these long-term averages to represent the past climate (The distribution of climate zones across Australia: identifying and explaining changes during the past century).

What are the Climate Classification Group and Class Legends?



What is Climate Reanalysis?

Climate Reanalysis is an update of the Climate Reanalyzer's Monthly Reanalysis Maps using the latest (February 2017) European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) 6-hourly total cloud cover and mean sea level pressure analyses, downloaded from the ECMWF's dataserver. Averages (e.g. over the 30-year period, 1981-2010) are generated from the 6-hourly ERA-Interim data, and average data sets and images are created from the past climate.

Changing Climate Averaging Period (Number of Years)

To change the climate averaging period number of years (e.g. 10, 20, 30 or 40 years), from the Climate page, select the 10y, 20y, 30y or 40y buttons. The climate period, type and region will remain unchanged. The meteogram location will be displayed with a rotating pin, and when selected will display the forecast meteogram.

Changing Climate Reanalysis Time

To change the climate reanalysis time (00, 06, 12, 0r 18 UTC), from the Climate page, select the 00, 06, 12, or 18 buttons. The climate period, type, region and averaging period number of years will remain unchanged. The meteogram location will be displayed with a rotating pin, and when selected will display the forecast meteogram.

Changing Climate Average Period

To change the climate average period (e.g. 1986-2015), from the Climate page, swipe over the middle of the map horizontally to the right to move forward in time, or to the left to move backward in time. The default increment/decrement is 5 years. The climate period, type, region and averaging period number of years will remain unchanged. The meteogram location will be displayed with a rotating pin, and when selected will display the forecast meteogram.

Changing Climate Period

To change the climate period (January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December, Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter, Year), from the Climate page, select the month buttons under the map, or the season and year (annual) buttons. The climate average period, type, region and averaging period number of years will remain unchanged. The meteogram location will be displayed with a rotating pin, and when selected will display the forecast meteogram.

Changing Climate Type

To change the climate type (Maximum Temperature, Minimum Temperature, Rainfall, Zones (Group), Zones (Class), Zones (Trend), Cloud Cover, Pressure), from the Climate page, swipe over the map vertically up or down, or select the Maximum Temperature, Minimum Temperature, Rainfall, Zones (Group), Zones (Class), Zones (Trend), Cloud Cover, Pressure button. The climate average period, period, region and averaging period number of years will remain unchanged. The meteogram location will be displayed with a rotating pin, and when selected will display the forecast meteogram.

Changing Climate Region

To change the climate region (Australia, SE Australia, Victoria, New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory, SE Queensland, North Queensland, Northern Territory, Central Australia, NW Western Australia, SW Western Australia, South Australia, Tasmania), from the Climate page, swipe over the region name in the title of the map, or select the Australia map in the top left corner of your display or the REGION button. Select the region required from the list of choices displayed. The climate average period, period, type and averaging period number of years will remain unchanged. The meteogram location will be reset to the capital city associated with the selected region and be displayed with a rotating pin, and when selected will display the forecast meteogram.

Animating Climate Image

To animate the climate images, from the Climate page, swipe over the middle of the image horizontally or select the Play/Stop Animation button on the top right of the map or select the CLIMATE Loop/Image button to start/stop the climate image animation. To scrub the timeline swipe the animation horizontally to interact with them while playing. The climate average period, type, period, region and averaging period number of years will remain unchanged. The meteogram location will be displayed with a rotating pin, and when selected will display the forecast meteogram.

Displaying Series Layout

To display a series layout of the selected product select the series layout icon below the moon/star icon in the top right corner of your display. Select the display type required from the list of choices displayed. You can create a PDF file of the selected product series layout if a printer icon appears in the top right corner of your display.

What is Archive 00 06 12 18?

Archive displays a series layout of previous ACCESS or GFS model forecasts of Total Cloud, Wind, Jetstream or Pressure/Rainfall. Select the model time (00, 06, 12 or 18 UTC) on the Archive button to display the series layout of the selected model and product.

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