How to get weather forecasts on your satphone
In my post on satellite communictor devices, I thought the weather forecast feature available from Garmin and Zoleo was pretty cool and not easy to replicate on a satphone. It turns out I was wrong - there's a simple and easy way to get excellent forecasts and warnings from the Bureau of Meteorology on your satphone.
The BoM maintain an excellent telephone weather service. You ring a 1300 number relevant to a particular area and a recorded message plays you any current warnings, an outlook for the forecast districts, and specific forecasts for the next few days for major towns in the forecast district.
To try it out, I rang the number for South Australia Country. With a few menu presses navigated through to the North East Pastoral District which encompasses the Simpson Desert and heard the next four days of weather for Moomba, Leigh Creek, Marree, Oodnadatta, and Yunta. The call took 3m 44s, although with more familiarity with the menu options I could have cut that down by at least a minute.
This is a brilliant facility and the quality and fidelity of the BoM district forecasts is much better than the basic services offered by Garmin or Zoleo.
It helps to know the names of the Bureau's forecast districts as they're not always self-evident - you can see a map of those here.
To read how to skip, repeat, and go back, read the pretty simple user guide here.
I hope this is of use to fellow outback travellers.