New meteorology collaboration to reduce event cancellations

Date published: 27 December 2019

Townsville City Council has participated in a case study collaboration with meteorology company WeatherEye to help forecast the weather in anticipation of events held across the city.

The partnership is aimed at providing evidence-based weather analysis and assessment to better prepare Council events and reduce the likelihood of cancellation.

WeatherEye does this by using operational forecasting techniques originally developed by the military, which provides the sort of forecast, detail and accuracy required to manage Townsville City Council events potentially interrupted by unexpected weather.

WeatherEye weighs the probability of different weather scenarios against the potential impacts and provides Council with clear guidance on the associated level of risk for specific events and projects.

Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill said it was incredible to have the foresight to be able to plan appropriately for events by being able to make decisions to facilitate signature events were delivered for the city.

“Council does everything it can to ensure that our events are weather-proof, however there have been instances in the past that proved the weather can catch us off guard,” Cr Hill said.

“The cancellation of Carols by Candlelight in 2018 is a prime example of not having accurate and up-to-date weather information during the planning of a central community event.

“With the expertise of WeatherEye, Council will be better set to deliver events that are designed around accurate weather forecasts for that time and location.”

Cr Hill said working with WeatherEye was a sophisticated and effective way to mitigate the risk of adverse weather.

“A lot of time and money goes into events held by Council, so reducing the number of event cancellations is essential,” she said.

WeatherEye founder Wade Lamberth said Townsville was a prime example of a city that needed a greater ability to drive decision-making around the weather.

“The impacts of Climate Change challenges how we maintain sustainable communities, now and in the future. We firmly believe there is an opportunity to improve education and awareness on weather mitigation, adaption, impact reduction and early warning here in Townsville,” Mr Lamberth said.

Townsville City Council is looking at contracting WeatherEye in 2020.

An online prototype of WeatherEye is expected to be launched mid-next year.