Paid advertising has appeared on a federal government website for the first time, a move advertising baron Harold Mitchell estimates will net the Bureau of Meteorology $2 million a year.

The ads for NAB ran for a limited time yesterday. More will follow.

Weather nerds are up in arms over the commercialisation of their-much loved site, but Mitchell says ads will help reduce the cost of a public service in a difficult economic climate. Medicare is another target, and Mitchell would go as far as the ABC.