According To Apple's Weather App, It's Snowing In Sydney Today. Here's Why That Happened

Apple's official Weather app for iOS gave everyone in Sydney a bit of a shock this morning. Instead of telling people that the city's run of extreme wind, rain and thunderstorms would continue, it predicted snow. Here's why that happened.

Users who woke up to check their forecast this morning were greeted with the odd message on their iOS Weather app that there would be "Mixed Snow and Sleet" in Sydney.

Social media users were more than a little confused by the warning.

We suspect the error came from bad data from the UK Weather Channel feed used by the iOS Weather app. We've reached out to Apple to confirm. The error was quickly fixed, and now Sydney's forecast is for more thunderstorms and rain.

Sydney, the NSW Central Coast and Newcastle have all been lashed by wild weather over the last few days which shows no sign of letting up in the next 24 hours.

Sydney's Bondi Beach is migrating onto land, a cruise ship is stuck off the coast being lashed by the winds and three people have tragically died following flash flooding in Dungog.

NSW Premier Mike Baird as well as the state's transport minister advised commuters to stay off the roads if possible and to only travel if it was absolutely necessary. Bosses have been urged to send staff home before dark for safer transit, and people are being urged to work from home if possible.

The forecast was weird, but the weather is actually dangerous. Work from home if you can and stay safe. Don't enter floodwaters and don't take unnecessary risks.


Comments

    Weather apps in Australia are an absolute joke. Barely any get their data from the BOM, who are terrible at giving out their information in an easy to aggregate way. Weather data on my phone was more reliable in Vietnam than it is in Australia. Try living somewhere where wind chill matters more than air temperature in winter and you'll learn very quickly how useless they are.

    Last edited 22/04/15 9:11 am

      try PocketWeather...develeoped by Aussies and draws data from BOM

        +1 PocketWeather - the only mobile weather app I trust.

          +1 pocketWeather

            As a motorcyclist (who doesn't own a car) I can highly recommend PocketWeather. Even during the flooding in Brisbane over the last few years I've managed to get home in relatively dry condition thanks to the Bureau and PocketWeather. I didn't have to use the snorkle once!

            And @dashals, looking out the window only tells me what the weather is in my immediate vicinity - being able to see the rainfall (where it is and how it's travelling across my path) allows me to plan my departure time to have a good chance of making it to my destination safely.

      Just download the "Weather Australia" app. They get their data directly from BOM.

      I don't know about apps, but the Viet NCHMF site has a lot less resources than the BOM does although as a AU government designed website, it has all the inherent limitations that come with that. There has been an issue in recent past where in times of extreme weather (when you need it most) the streaming of radar falls over, but it has been largely fixed.

        Oh I'm not saying Vietnams own weather service have better info than BOM, just that BOM are terrible at sharing their information, and most weather apps, especially the core ones built into phones, don't use it.

      Or weatherzone, which uses bom + others (it's fairfax's weather service)

      Use the mobile of version of th BOM website for your location. Amazing. Better than any app. I use this for perth http://m.bom.gov.au/wa/perth/

        How long has that been there? And why the hell doesn't my phone auto redirect to it?! It's great!

          Agreed. A few people have been surprised when shown the mobile version. Easy to read correct information. Most apps display the same info, why not get it from the source.

      On an unrelated note, my parents were recently in Vietnam.

      They got faster internet in the mountains than I do in the suburbs here...

    This often happens with the iOS apps, I know of many instances where "snow and sleet" allegedly happened in Sydney according to the apps taking Weather Channel data.

    The only fix is to use apps that use BOM data.

    This happens because most weather apps use data and forecast models that are tailored for the Northern Hemisphere. TWC, Weather Undergraound and Forecast.io will always give very mixed results in the Southern Hemisphere, where the weather works differently. I once had a forecast.io powered app tell me it was 31C at midnight and would be 34C by 1am when the temperature was actually 23C and falling. Forecast.io is the worst of them but they are all flakey down here, unless you can find an app that uses local forecast models. Anyone using BoM or Weatherzone forecast data will be far more accurate.

    I'm sure with the temperature down to 17° Sydney-siders would have been expecting snow anyway.

      Sydneysiders complain about the cold, tourists still wear shorts and tshirt.

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