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20 new Clever Weather sensors installed across Bendigo

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The Bureau of Meteorology has praised the City of Greater Bendigo and La Trobe University for creating one of the first weather sensor networks in the country that gives accurate real-time temperature data to reveal extreme hot spots in the summer and the coldest areas across Bendigo in winter.  

Senior Climatologist, Bureau of Meteorology Blair Trewin said Bendigo’s Clever Weather network was the densest anywhere in Australia.

“This will enable us to study local variations in temperature in a way which has never been possible before in Australia. It will help us to understand better where the hottest and coldest parts of cities are on hot days and how overnight temperatures vary with local topography,” Mr Trewin said.

City Director, Strategy and Growth Bernie O’Sullivan said over 50 sensors were already in place at residents’ homes and businesses located in Bendigo and the outer suburbs and the next step was to introduce 20 sensors in public areas across the city.

"Thanks to our collaboration with La Trobe University’s Technology Innovation Lab, we can gain a clearer picture of weather conditions across the city,” Mr O’Sullivan said.

“We know that some parts of the city can experience higher summer temperatures and much colder winter temperatures than the official Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) data which is generated at Bendigo Airport, so these sensors will give us accurate real-time data across the city.

“The BOM readings do not factor in human activity, buildings, concrete and a lack of shade which can change the temperatures in those areas significantly.

“This data could prove to be a very effective tool to help plan and improve the City’s services and projects, and to gain a much better understanding of how temperatures impact the way we live.”

Head of La Trobe’s Technology Innovation Lab at the Bendigo campus, Dr Simon Egerton said the sensors were very responsive and accurate.

“We might find that some areas of the city are up to four degrees hotter than others,” Dr Egerton said.

“It is important that we cover the whole city to understand the variations as this has implications for the way people plan their day and protect themselves from extreme temperatures.”

The Clever Weather sensors tap into the Internet of Things (IoT), an innovative network that enables information to be collected from sensors across Bendigo to better understand how the city functions. It acts in a similar way to WI-FI, except that the signal can travel over longer distances using far less power.

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