Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology

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Bureau upgrades Climate Outlooks service to include monthly outlooks


The Bureau of Meteorology has today released its upgraded Climate Outlooks service, with monthly rainfall and temperature outlooks available for the first time together with the standard three-month seasonal outlooks, in a new interactive portal.

Now in its 25th year, the Bureau's climate outlooks have traditionally highlighted the chance of above average rainfall and temperatures for the three months ahead.

Dr Andrew Watkins, the Bureau's Manager of Climate Prediction Services, said the upgrade is based on engagement with over 900 Australians, many from the agricultural sector, who volunteered their time to provide the Bureau with invaluable advice and suggestions during a comprehensive review process of the Climate Outlooks service.

"The new portal includes a suite of tools to improve the usability of climate information for decision-making, including the ability to zoom into specific locations, and short videos explaining the outlook," Dr Watkins said.

"The introduction of new climate outlooks for each of the next two calendar months builds on the existing three-month seasonal outlooks, providing more detailed analysis over shorter timescales.

"Rainfall outlooks now provide the likelihood of receiving key amounts of rain, as well as likely rainfall totals, whereas previously the outlook only provided the chance of exceeding average rainfall levels.

"Users can also tailor their climate outlook maps to their needs, accessing information for any location in Australia."

Updated each month, Climate Outlooks provide a key service for many Australian sectors that need to look at the months and season ahead for their planning, such as the resources, agriculture and rural sectors, as well as emergency services.

"The continual improvement in the Bureau's Climate Outlooks service has been made possible by new state-of-the-art dynamical computer modeling, as well as steady advances in the science of seasonal prediction and better observations," said Dr Watkins.

In 2013, the Bureau updated its climate outlook model to a world-class dynamical climate model, which combines the physics of the atmosphere, oceans, land and ice to calculate the likely climate conditions across Australia over the months ahead.

Climate Outlooks indicate likely temperature and rainfall trends over monthly or seasonal timescales, and are driven by large-scale shifts in the climate such as El Niño or La Niña events. By contrast, weather forecasts are currently produced out to seven days, and are used in short-term planning.

Go to Temperature outlooks for the latest rainfall data.

Go to Climate Outlook video to watch or share the Climate and Water Outlook (2014).