Qld forecaster's computer failure

Qld forecaster's computer failure

Qld forecaster's computer failure

Seven News can reveal a computer failure limited the amount of information available to bureau staff.

Exclusive details have been revealed on how weather forecasters were hampered during Brisbane's storm weekend.

The failure stopped crucial information from weather balloons reaching meteorologists.

Suspecting severe weather was on the way on Friday night bureau staff at Brisbane Airport launched a weather balloon to sample the atmosphere.

But a computer card failure meant the data was lost at a crucial time.

Independent meteorologist Anthony Cornelius said on Friday there was a mass change come through south east Queensland.

"So a weather balloon that went up that night should have detected that air mass change would have given more confidence to the forecaster to know how unstable the atmosphere was," he said.

Saturday morning's 9am weather balloon flight was cancelled too.

It meant forecasters had to rely on passenger aircraft for high altitude information.

"Temperature, humidity, pressure, winds and thats all really useful information and particularly useful for thunderstorm forecasting."

The Weather Bureau in Brisbane has cut the number of balloon flights to save money. Staff has been reduced.

During Brisbane's Floods, retired forecasters bolstered numbers.

A national review this year concluded: "There are fewer than a hundred frontline meteorologists, this apears to be very lean."

The report recommends the Federal Government: Boost the number of frontline meteorologists to build response capacity in regional forecasting centres.

Tomorrow the Weather Bureau releases its seasonal outlook offering a long range forecast for Queensland's summer.

Storms are currently forecast for Thursday in SEQ.

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