NEW interactive farmer-friendly weather outlook maps are now available on the Bureau of Meteorology’s website.
The farmer-tested climate outlook platform that gives forward rainfall and temperature projections for up to three months was released by the bureau this week.
Farmers can nominate their locality or town in a search cell or by clicking on a map, and select tabs to see the chance of rainfall minimums, medians or extremes, the minimum and maximum temperature probabilities, or the historical averages.
Minister for Agriculture and Northern Australia David Littleproud said primary producers would have access to information about potentially extreme climate conditions for their geographical area beyond the traditional seven-day weather forecast.
“Recognising the increasing need for information about unseasonal and extreme weather events, the Bureau of Meteorology and its agricultural industry customers have developed a new tool that will allow people to drill down and see what may be in store for their local area,” he said.
“The user-friendly maps show the likelihood of conditions such as unusually hot or cold temperatures or unusually high or low rainfall in the weeks, months and seasons ahead for specific, highly localised areas.
“Importantly, the maps have been tried and tested with farmers across Australia, who have found them helpful for anticipating climate conditions,” Mr Littleproud said.
“They say the outlook maps will help them make decisions around purchasing and applying fertiliser, crop planning and stocking rates because they will have a better understanding of likely conditions in the coming months.”
Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley said the outlooks had been informed by inputs from those on the ground.
“This new tool from the bureau draws on the latest science and technology and aims to build climate resilience and support better-informed decision making.
“We worked closely with farmers to gauge what information, in addition to what the Bureau already provides, would be useful,” she said.
“Industry reference groups from the dairy, red meat, grains, sugar and wine sectors have all played a critical role in the development of this new product.
“We are committed to providing the agricultural sector with important weather and climate information – whether it be short-term forecasts or seasonal climate outlooks,” Ms Ley said.
“We are now offering the best of both worlds and importantly – they are free, easy to access and easy to use.”
This new tool is part of the Forewarned is Forearmed project, a partnership between government, research and industry sectors, funded through the Rural R&D For Profit Program.
View the new outlooks and features on the bureau’s website here: www.bom.gov.au/climate/outlooks