Big boats entering Sydney’s iconic waterways will soon have access to real time weather forecast data after Sydney Ports signed onto a new deal that will give large vessels in Sydney Harbour and Botany Bay access to a new weather prediction technology service.
The new service is being plugged in as the number of cargo ships and cruise ship movements from Sydney’s docks quickly increases and has seen global weather intelligence company MetraWeather contracted in to deliver real-time weather and marine forecasting information.
The new weather forecasting service from MetraWeather operates by providing regularly updated high resolution and “probabilistic forecasts” of important marine and weather conditions that are likely to affect the day-to-day and longer-term running of the port.
This means that the company’s service will deliver information on wind speed, direction and gusts as well as wave height and the swell and tide through its online industry-specific MetOceanView technology.
The technology feeds this information to port managers so they can monitor weather systems well outside the port area that could potentially impact on the safe travel of vessels heading towards the port.
A key feature of MetraWeather’s service that Sydney Ports will have access to is the interactive under-keel clearance safety and berth safety forecasts.
According to MetraWeather, this helps to plan not only for the safety of the ships already in the harbour, but also for those wanting to enter.
As Sydney Harbour and Botany Bay are two of the busiest sea routes in Australia, the use of this weather predictive service technology is significant because it will potentially ease the pressure on sea port managers having to cope with helping to navigate freighters and cruise ships through bad weather conditions.
Sydney Ports executive general manager operations and harbour master, Captain Philip Holliday stressed the importance of the technology, saying that “safety is a huge priority for us”.
“With MetraWeather’s forecasts we know exactly what’s happening in the harbour and what’s on the horizon, so we can be prepared,” Captain Holliday said.
He said Botany Bay is the second busiest box terminal in Australia and Port Jackson is home to the nation’s busiest cruise terminals, so Sydney Ports has a “major responsibility” for the safe navigation of these ships and “this real-time data will be of great assistance”.