Small Farms

Giving Australians an early look at the climate ahead

The Bureau of Meteorology has released its first mid-month climate outlooks—giving those making climate-sensitive decisions an early look at likely conditions ahead.

The new mid-month outlooks, issued around the second Thursday of the month, provide a first look at whether it’s likely to be wetter or drier and warmer or cooler than average across the country for the months and season ahead.

An outlook will also be released at the end of each month, updating the earlier release and providing the most detailed advice on likely temperatures and rainfall.

Manager Climate Prediction Felicity Gamble said introducing more frequent updates to the Bureau’s climate outlooks is an important service improvement.

“What drives our climate can sometimes change significantly within the space of a month. We saw that in October 2015, when our climate shifted into a very dry phase mid-month.

“The new outlook uses this early intelligence from the models, and provides a first look at what the coming months and season are likely to bring,” Ms Gamble said.

“Having two outlook releases every month will help those who want to use the early climate information to plan further ahead, and will also be useful for those who prefer our end of the month information for decision-making.

“Like the daily weather forecast, where the forecast we issue for tomorrow will have the greatest reliability, our end-of-month outlooks will continue to provide the clearest picture of likely temperature and rainfall for the month and season ahead. The new early-look climate information should better support agriculture and other sectors in their decision-making throughout the month.”

The Bureau’s rainfall and temperature climate outlooks show the likelihood, as a percentage, of experiencing wetter or drier and warmer or cooler than average weather for the upcoming three months. They are used to inform a range of decision-makers across industries such as agriculture, water, emergency services and energy and resources.

Upgrades to the Bureau’s Climate Outlooks service are delivered as part of a four year Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper project, known as the Improved Seasonal Forecasting Service Project.

Source: Bureau of Meteorology

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