What is Cloud Free Night?

Cloud Free Night is an online weather forecast information service for the benefit of the Australian & New Zealand astronomy and photography communities. Near real-time weather forecasts from the United States GFS global model can be compared to higher resolution forecasts from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology ACCESS model, improving your confidence in the accuracy of these weather predictions.

Do you have a Facebook page?

The Cloud Free Night Facebook page is located at www.facebook.com/cloudfreenight.

Do you have any testimonials?

"thanks for ongoing marvellous predictions with an uncannily high rate of getting it right! For example, over the last week, I was following your predictions and those of BOM. The two differed appreciably, and I watched as BOM slowly started to shift their prediction to what you had said days before they did. And your prediction was right. I actually use the website to predict when there will be high cloud or fog, to aid my photographic work, rather than looking for clear nights!" - Les Irwig, Les Irwig Photography (13 June 2020)

"Running an observatory taking people out on a monthly basis using CFN is my goto. This weekend in Perth it was crazy weather, tornadoes, hail and rain. Using the metorogram the group threaded the needle and got perfect clear skies and 10 hours of imaging time and just as we finished packing up to go home it started raining" - Brendan Mitchell, Astronomy Academy Perth (1 September 2019)

"The usability is great on my iPhone, your invaluable site has led to many successful adventures when conventional predictions were inaccurate and pessimistic. Keep up the amazing work, your users love each and every improvement you are making!" - Kevin Lurie, Cloud Free Night Facebook post (29 July 2019)

"Thanks for including Ulladulla in the meteogram ... I'm currently imaging NGC 6744 galaxy down near Ulladulla ... Beautiful night and as usual CFN is spot on ... CFN , an important part of my Astro tool kit ... Thanks very much" - IceInSpace Member Startrek (Martin) (9 July 2019)

"A superbly practical tool with the local Access model for planning public and school events, astro field trips for observation collection, and knowing whether to get out of bed to try seeing something that's pre-dawn. Over the years since it was first developed and trialled, it's always been by far the most reliable predictor for the Mornington Peninsula region, including the Briars observatory. Three cheers for Robert, Phil et al." - Peter Skilton, Mornington Peninsula Astronomical Society (13 March 2019)

Where does the weather forecast come from?

Cloud Free Night displays weather forecast information from the United States GFS global model and the Australian Bureau of Meteorology ACCESS model which includes higher resolution city models. Forecast maps over specific Australian regions and New Zealand, and forecast meteograms for a variety of locations, summarise the weather forecast over the next five days.

The official forecasts from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology and links to local (i.e. WeatherWatch, Skippy Sky, OzForecast) and overseas (i.e. Meteologix, Yr, Clear Outside, meteoblue, 7Timer!) weather forecasts, are available to enable further comparison of these weather predictions.

Where does the weather observations come from?

Cloud Free Night displays high-definition Himawari-8 satellite images from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology over Australia and New Zealand. The satellite imagery are displayed at their original resolution and zoomed over specific areas of Australia and New Zealand. Satellite images originally processed by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology are from the geostationary satellite Himawari-8 operated by the Japan Meteorological Agency.

What is available in Cloud Free Night?

Australian Bureau of Meteorology official (i.e. precis, town and district) forecasts over the next seven days for 684 locations around Australia.

ACCESS and GFS model forecast maps: Hourly ACCESS-C (+1 to +42 hours), ACCESS-G (+1 to +132 hours) and GFS (+1 to +120 hours) Total Cloud, Fog (ACCESS only), Low Cloud, Middle Cloud, High Cloud, Horizontal Visibility, Wind, Wind Gust, Temperature, Relative Humidity, MSL Pressure, Rainfall (ACCESS only), Accumulated Rainfall (ACCESS only), Radar Reflectvity (ACCESS-C and GFS only) and Solar Irradiance (ACCESS only) maps for Australia, SE Australia, Melbourne, Victoria, Sydney, Canberra, New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory, Brisbane, SE Queensland, North Queensland, Far North Queensland, Darwin, Northern Territory, Central Australia, SW Western Australia, NW Western Australia, Adelaide, South Australia, NE South Australia, Hobart and New Zealand. Links to forecast maps from WeatherWatch, Skippy Sky and Meteologix.

ACCESS and GFS forecast Dark Sky and Cloud meteograms: Hourly ACCESS-C (Day 1 and Day 2), ACCESS-G (Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Days 1-3 and Days 3-5) and GFS (Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Days 1-3 and Days 3-5) meteograms for TBC meteogram locations. Links to forecast meteograms from OzForecast (Australia only), Yr, Clear Outside, meteoblue and 7Timer!.

High-definition Himawari-8 satellite images for Australia, SE Australia, Melbourne, Alexandra, LMDSS, Victoria, Sydney, Canberra, New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory, Brisbane, SE Queensland, North Queensland, Far North Queensland, Darwin, Northern Territory, Central Australia, Perth, SW Western Australia, NW Western Australia, Adelaide, South Australia, NE South Australia, Hobart, Launceston, Tasmania, New Zealand, North Island and South Island map regions.

Cloud camera (e.g. aviation weather cameras, all sky cameras) images around Australia (over 350 locations and nearly 800 camera images), including links to the original image and source.

Synoptic chart images of the latest colour mean sea-level pressure analysis from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology.

What is the ACCESS model?

The ACCESS (Australian Bureau of Meteorology Australian Community Climate and Earth-System Simulator) model comprises the ACCESS-C city models and ACCESS-G global model.

The ACCESS-C models cover Victoria/Tasmania (ACCESS-VT), Sydney (ACCESS-SY), Brisbane (ACCESS-BN), Darwin (ACCESS-DN), Perth (ACCESS-PH) and Adelaide (ACCESS-AD) regions at 1.5 km resolution, with hourly forecast parameters out to +42 hours, updated 4 times per day (00, 06, 12, 18 UTC). The 00, 06 and 12 UTC ACCESS-C model updates go out to +36 hours, and the 18 UTC ACCESS-C model update goes out to +42 hours.

The ACCESS-G model covers the global domain at 12 km resolution, with hourly forecast parameters out to 3.5 days (+84 hours), updated 4 times per day (00, 06, 12, 18 UTC), and out to 10 days (+240 hours) updated 2 times per day (00 and 12 UTC).

ACCESS model data for the next five days are downloaded in near real-time (freely available for non-commercial use) from the NCI (National Computational Infrastructure) OPeNDAP server.

When is ACCESS model data updated?

ACCESS-G 00 UTC (1:45am-3:15am)
ACCESS-C 12 UTC (3:30am-4:15am)
ACCESS-G 06 UTC (6:30am-8:00am)
ACCESS-C 18 UTC (9:45am-10:30am)
ACCESS-G 12 UTC (1:30pm-3:00pm)
ACCESS-C 00 UTC (3:45pm-4:30pm)
ACCESS-G 18 UTC (6:45pm-8:15pm)
ACCESS-C 06 UTC (9:45pm-10:30pm)
(Melbourne/Sydney local time)

What is the GFS model?

The United States National Center for Environmental Prediction GFS (Global operational Forecast System) model covers the global domain at 28 km resolution, 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).

GFS model data for the next five days are downloaded in near real-time (freely available for commercial use) from the NOMADS (NOAA Operational Model Archive and Distribution System).

When is GFS model data updated?

GFS 12 UTC (4:00am-5:00am)
GFS 18 UTC (10:15am-11:15am)
GFS 00 UTC (4:15pm-5:15pm)
GFS 06 UTC (10:15pm-11:15pm)
(Melbourne/Sydney local time)

What is Forecast?

Australian Bureau of Meteorology official (i.e. precis, town and district) forecasts over the next seven days for 684 locations around Australia. For further information, see About Weather Forecast Services.

Forecast files in XML (precis) and PDF (town and district) formats are downloaded in real-time (freely available for non-commercial use) from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology FTP Server. Every 30 minutes the forecast files are checked for any updates and, if required, downloaded again. The precis forecast images for each forecast location are created from the forecast XML files.

To display an official precis forecast, select the REGION (i.e. Melbourne, VIC, Sydney, Canberra, West NSW, SE NSW, NE NSW, Brisbane, SW QLD, SE QLD, North QLD, Darwin, North NT, South NT, Perth, South WA, North WA, Adelaide, SA, Hobart or TAS) and LOCATION using the buttons to the right of the image. The map (including forecast district boundaries) and list of locations will be updated for the selected region. The location can also be selected from the displayed map. Selecting the forecast image will display the town (for locations in capital letters on the displayed map) or district forecast in a new window. Your selections for REGION and LOCATION will be remembered.

What is Map?

Map images show ACCESS-C (i.e. ACCESS-VT, ACCESS-SY, ACCESS-BN, ACCESS-DN, ACCESS-PH or ACCESS-AD), ACCESS-G and GFS, hourly model forecasts over specific regions for the next five days. The maps display forecasts of Total Cloud, Fog (ACCESS only), Low Cloud, Middle Cloud, High Cloud, Horizontal Visibility, Wind, Wind Gust, Temperature, Relative Humidity, MSL Pressure, Rainfall (ACCESS only), Accumulated Rainfall (ACCESS only), Radar Reflectvity (ACCESS-C and GFS only) and Solar Irradiance (ACCESS only) for Victoria, New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory, SE Queensland, Northern Territory, SW Western Australia, South Australia, Tasmania, Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra, Brisbane, Darwin, Perth, Adelaide and Hobart map regions for ACCESS-C; and Australia, SE Australia, Victoria, New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory, SE Queensland, North Queensland, Far North Queensland, Northern Territory, Central Australia, NW Western Australia, SW Western Australia, South Australia, NE South Australia, Tasmania, Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra, Brisbane, Darwin, Perth, Adelaide, Hobart and New Zealand map regions for ACCESS-G and GFS.

ACCESS model data for the next five days are downloaded in near real-time from the NCI (National Computational Infrastructure) OPeNDAP server. GFS model data for the next five days are downloaded in near real-time from the NOMADS (NOAA Operational Model Archive and Distribution System). The forecast map images are created from the ACCESS and GFS model data and updated every six hours.

To display a forecast map, select the MODEL, REGION and TYPE using the buttons to the right of the image. Select the Show or Hide Placenames button below the image to toggle the display of placenames and longitude/latitude grid over the forecast map. Step Forwards or Backwards through time (i.e forecast period) using the 1, 3, 6, 12 or 24 hour(s) buttons below the image. This will increment or decrement the forecast period (i.e. time). Select the Reset button below the center of the image to return to the default (i.e. +001 hours) forecast period. Your selections for MODEL, REGION, TYPE, Show or Hide Placenames and Forecast Period will be remembered.

To display the synoptic charts, select the Synoptic Chart button to the right of the image. Step Forwards or Backwards through time, Move to the Earliest or Latest image or Start or Stop Animation of the images using the arrow buttons below the image. The most recent 3 weeks of chart images can be displayed.

To display real-time Jetstream forecast maps, select the Jetstream button to the right of the image. The Australian Bureau of Meteorology Jetstream (200hPa winds) website page will be displayed in a new window.

To display real-time local ACCESS model forecasts, select the WeatherWatch button to the right of the image. The WeatherWatch MetCentre website page will be displayed in a new window. A Pro subscription ($8/month) is required to display the real-time ACCESS model forecasts.

To display overseas model (e.g. GFS, ECMWF) forecasts, select the Skippy Sky or Meteologix button to the right of the image. The Skippy Sky or Meteologix website pages will be displayed in a new window.

What happened to the Chart page?

Links to the Chart page are no longer in the top or bottom menu bars. The Chart page can be displayed from the Synoptic Chart link on the Map page.

What is Synoptic Chart?

Australian Bureau of Meteorology synoptic chart images of the latest colour mean sea-level pressure analysis. For further information, see Latest Colour Mean Sea-Level Pressure Analysis and Interpreting the Mean Sea Level Pressure (MSLP) Analysis.

Synoptic chart image files in PNG format are downloaded in real-time (freely available for non-commercial use) from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology FTP Server. Every 6 hours the latest synoptic chart file is downloaded.

The default is to display the latest synoptic chart. Step Forwards or Backwards through time, Move to the Earliest or Latest image, or Start or Stop Animation of the images using the arrow buttons below the image. The default is to animate the synoptic charts over the last 7 days. Adjusting the position of the slider will change the synoptic chart displayed and the length of the animation. The most recent 3 weeks of chart images can be displayed.

What is Meteogram?

Meteogram images show a summary of ACCESS-C (i.e. ACCESS-VT, ACCESS-SY, ACCESS-BN, ACCESS-DN, ACCESS-PH or ACCESS-AD), ACCESS-G and GFS model forecasts over the next five days: Day 1 (+0 to +24 hours for ACCESS-C and GFS, and +12 to +36 hours for ACCESS-G), Day 2 (+18 to +42 hours for ACCESS-C, +36 to +60 hours for ACCESS-G, and +24 to +48 hours for GFS), Day 3 (+60 to +84 hours for ACCESS-G and +48 to +72 hours for GFS), Days 1-3 (+12 to +84 hours for ACCESS-G and +0 to +72 hours for GFS) and Days 3-5 (+60 to +132 hours for ACCESS-G and +48 to +120 hours for GFS) for particular locations (TBC meteogram locations). The Dark Sky and Cloud meteograms (time-series graphs and tables) present detailed cloud information. The graph/table displays hourly values of the temperature, rainfall, wind, gust, pressure, humidity, solar irradiance, vsibility, fog and total, low, middle and high cloud cover.

ACCESS model data for the next five days are downloaded in near real-time from the NCI (National Computational Infrastructure) OPeNDAP server. GFS model data for the next five days are downloaded in near real-time from the NOMADS (NOAA Operational Model Archive and Distribution System). The forecast meteogram images are created from the ACCESS and GFS model data and updated every six hours.

The Dark Sky meteograms show ACCESS-C (i.e. ACCESS-VT, ACCESS-SY, ACCESS-BN, ACCESS-DN, ACCESS-PH or ACCESS-AD), ACCESS-G and GFS hourly graphs of the total cloud cover and fog, moon phase (% illumination) and moon/sun rise/set times; and tables of temperature, moon phase, wind, gust, visibility, humidity, fog, total, low, middle and high cloud cover for particular locations out to five days, to identify dark sky night opportunities. Dark sky night hours are defined by total cloud cover < 20% and moon illumination < 50% (or no moon), and are displayed using star icons near the top of the graph and in the table.

The Cloud meteograms show ACCESS-C (i.e. ACCESS-VT, ACCESS-SY, ACCESS-BN, ACCESS-DN, ACCESS-PH or ACCESS-AD), ACCESS-G and GFS hourly graphs of the total cloud cover, temperature, humidity, pressure and rainfall; and tables of temperature, rainfall, solar irradiance, wind, gust, pressure, humidity, fog, total, low, middle and high cloud cover for particular locations out to five days.

To display a forecast meteogram, select the MODEL (i.e. ACCESS-C, ACCESS-G or GFS) and location using the buttons to the right of the image. Select the meteogram type (i.e. Dark Sky or Cloud) using the buttons below the image. Select the day(s) using the D1 (+0 to +24 hours for ACCESS-C and GFS, and +12 to +36 hours for ACCESS-G), D2 (+18 to +42 hours for ACCESS-C, +36 to +60 hours for ACCESS-G, and +24 to +48 hours for GFS), D3 (+60 to +84 hours for ACCESS-G and +48 to +72 hours for GFS), D1-3 (+12 to +84 hours for ACCESS-G and +0 to +72 hours for GFS) and D3-5 (+60 to +132 hours for ACCESS-G and +48 to +120 hours for GFS) buttons below the image. Select a location in another state or country using the VIC, NSW, ACT, QLD, NT, WA, SA, TAS or NZ buttons below the image. Your selections for MODEL, location, type and day(s) will be remembered.

To display other meteogram forecasts for the selected location, select the source (Yr, Clear Outside, meteoblue, 7Timer!) using the buttons below the image. The OzForecast (ADFD meteogram), Yr (detailed hourly forecast), Clear Outside, meteoblue (astronomical seeing) and 7Timer! (GFS meteogram) website pages will display in a new window.

Where are the Victoria meteogram locations?

Where are the New South Wales meteogram locations?

Where are the Australia Capital Territory meteogram locations?

Where are the Queensland meteogram locations?

Where are the Northern Territory meteogram locations?

Where are the Western Australia meteogram locations?

Where are the South Australia meteogram locations?

Where are the Tasmania meteogram locations?

Where are the New Zealand meteogram locations?

What is Satellite?

High-definition satellite images, updated every ten minutes, originally processed by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology from the geostationary satellite Himawari-8 operated by the Japan Meteorological Agency.

Satellite image files in JPEG and TIF format over the Australian domain (85oE to 165oW and 55oS to 20oN) for six types (Day + Night, Visible Greyscale, Infrared Greyscale, Infrared + Rainbow, Infrared + Zehr and Water Vapour) at 0.5 km, 1 km or 2 km resolution are downloaded in real-time (freely available for non-commercial use) from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology FTP Server.

The satellite images are resampled over regions covering Australia and New Zealand (i.e. Australia, SE Australia, Melbourne, Alexandra, LMDSS, Victoria, Sydney, Canberra, New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory, Brisbane, SE Queensland, North Queensland, Far North Queensland, Darwin, Northern Territory, Central Australia, Perth, SW Western Australia, NW Western Australia, Adelaide, South Australia, NE South Australia, Hobart, Launceston, Tasmania, New Zealand, North Island and South Island).

The satellite images are displayed at their original resolution for the Victoria, New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory, SE Queensland, North Queensland, Far North Queensland, Northern Territory, Central Australia, South Australia, NE South Australia and Tasmania map regions. The satellite images are zoomed (x4) for the Melbourne, Alexandra, LMDSS, Sydney, Canberra, Brisbane, Darwin, Perth, Adelaide, Hobart and Launceston map regions.

To display a satellite image, select the REGION and TYPE using the buttons to the right of the image. Select the Show/Hide Location Names (Show Lon/Lat Grid) button below the image to toggle the display of location names and longitude/latitude grid over the satellite image. Step Forwards/Backwards through time, Move to the Earliest/Latest image or Start/Stop Animation of the images using the arrow buttons below the image. The default is to animate the satellite images over the last 3 hours. Adjusting the position of the slider will change the satellite image displayed and the length of the animation. The most recent 12 hours of satellite images can be displayed. Your selections for REGION, TYPE and Show/Hide Location Names will be remembered.

There are six satellite image types (Day + Night, Visible Greyscale, Infrared Greyscale, Infrared + Rainbow, Infrared + Zehr and Water Vapour).

Day + Night: True-colour images (1 km resolution) 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 (0.5 km resolution) 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. Visible images are a record of the visible light scattered or reflected towards the satellite from the Earth and clouds. They give meteorologists extra information that may not appear on infrared images. For example, fog appears in visible images, but may not show up in infrared images as its temperature is very close to that of the land below. Visible images are only available during daytime, as at night there is no reflected sunlight.

Infrared Greyscale: Infrared (IR) images (2 km resolution) 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, making IR images simple to compare with visible images.

Infrared + Rainbow: Colour-enhanced images (2 km resolution). To assist in interpreting greyscale IR images, methods can be used to colour all pixels representing a particular temperature range. The temperature of clouds is associated with their height, so highlighting certain temperature ranges is useful for estimating the height of the observed clouds. These precision of these temperature measurements are within one or two degrees Celsius. Images coloured in this way are known as 'false colour' images.

Infrared + Zehr: Colour-enhanced images (2 km resolution). 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 (2 km resolution) 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.

What is Camera?

Cloud camera (e.g. aviation weather cameras, all sky cameras, webcams) images around Australia (over 350 locations and 750 camera images), including links to the original image and source.

To display a cloud camera image, select the REGION (i.e. VIC, Melbourne, NSW, Sydney, ACT, SE QLD, Brisbane, North QLD, SW WA, Perth, SA, Adelaide, NE SA, TAS or Hobart) and LOCATION using the buttons to the right of the image. The map and list of locations will be updated for the selected region. The location can also be selected from the displayed map. Selecting the cloud camera image or image source link will display the original image or image source in a new window. Your selections for REGION and LOCATION will be remembered.

How can I bookmark a specific product page?

The link to the specific product being displayed on the Map, Meteogram, Satellite or Camera pages can be seen by moving the cursor over the page header. Use this link to bookmark the specific product page or add the link to your own website.

What happened to the Radar page?

The Cloud Free Night Radar display is no longer available. Please use The Weather Chaser radar viewer for access to real-time radar and extensive archives of radar imagery. The links to the right of the Radar page will take you to the radar viewer for each location. A Personal subscription ($4/month) is required to remove the ads for better viewing. The WeatherWatch MetCentre 2D Radar viewer will display real-time radar imagery. A Pro subscription ($8/month) is only required to display the real-time 3D radar imagery.

What happened to the ten day model forecasts?

ACCESS model forecasts are only available out to five days in Cloud Free Night. Hourly ACCESS-G model data for the next ten days are available for download from the NCI (National Computational Infrastructure) OPeNDAP server. But, Cloud Free Night focusses on the short-term weather forecasts. There are other long-term weather forecasts (i.e. WeatherWatch, Meteologix, Yr, meteoblue, Clear Outside, 7Timer!) available from links on the Map and Meteogram pages.

What happened to the ACCESS model forecasts?

ACCESS model forecasts were not available in Cloud Free Night for seven months between September 2020 and April 2021. We were unable to download upgraded ACCESS model data from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology since late September 2020. Downloads of near real-time ACCESS model data resumed from the NCI (National Computational Infrastructure) OPeNDAP server in late April 2021. Please use the WeatherWatch Metcentre to display real-time ACCESS model forecasts. A Pro subscription ($8/month) is required.

What happened to the Jetstream forecasts?

Jetstream forecasts from the ACCESS model are no longer available in Cloud Free Night. Jetstream ACCESS model data are available for download from the NCI (National Computational Infrastructure) OPeNDAP server. But, the timing of the model data availability makes it inefficent to download and process the upper-level wind data. Australian Bureau of Meteorology ACCESS-G Jetstream (200hPa winds) forecast maps are available from the Jetstream link on the Map page. There are other jetstream forecasts (e.g. WeatherWatch, Meteologix) available from links on the Map page.

Why are the weather forecasts near real-time?

Near real-time weather forecasts from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology ACCESS model and United States GFS global model are available in Cloud Free Night. The timing of the updated ACCESS model data availability from the NCI (National Computational Infrastructure) OPeNDAP server differs significantly from the previous ACCESS model data download source. This does not impact the value of the ACCESS-C forecasts in Cloud Free Night, but the ACCESS-G forecasts are currently delayed by at least 6 hours. ACCESS model forecasts are available in the WeatherWatch Metcentre significantly earlier (real-time).

How does the Cloud Free Night service operate?

Cloud Free Night is operated by a small team from the Australian astronomy community. The Cloud Free Night service is hosted on a leased (Binary Lane), self-managed 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 Australian Bureau of Meteorology ACCESS model data from the NCI (National Computational Infrastructure) OPeNDAP server and United States National Center for Environmental Prediction GFS model data from the NOMADS (NOAA Operational Model Archive and Distribution System). Australian Bureau of Meteorology official forecasts, Himawari-8 satellite images and synoptic charts are also downloaded from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology FTP Server, to produce the forecasts, maps, meteograms, satellite images and synoptic charts available from this VPS-hosted website. IDL® is a registered trademark of Harris Geospatial Solutions for their Interactive Data Language software, used by astronomers worldwide. Esri Australia is the official local distributor of IDL®.

How can I contact the Cloud Free Night team?

Cloud Free Night is operated by a small team from the Australian astronomy community. If you have any questions, please contact us at info@cloudfreenight.com. We would like to hear of your experience in using, or suggestions to improve, the Cloud Free Night service.

How can I support the Cloud Free Night service?

Cloud Free Night is a free service funded by past donations from the Australian astronomy and photography communities. The images below acknowledge those organisations who have supported the deveopment of Cloud Free Night in the past. Donations are not required to support the maintenance of the Cloud Free Night service, but can still be made using Paypal, or for other options, contact us at info@cloudfreenight.com.