New BOM Forecast Tools Help Wet Season Planning

Fitzroy Basin Association (FBA) has provided feedback in the development of a new forecast tool that provides more confidence in predicting unusually wet/dry or unusually cool/warm events from one week and up to three months in advance.

‘Chance of Extremes’ is the name of the new Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) online tool that uses the top or bottom 20% of all records to quantify how much rain we will or won’t get

FBA Partnerships Coordinator, and Northern Australia Climate Program (NACP) Climate Mate, Dan Rea has been contributing to the development of the tool to predict local forecasts more confidently.

Dan Rea demonstrating the new forecasting tool from the Bureau of Meteorology

“Previously, long term rain forecasts were limited to a ‘Chance of Above Median’. But that doesn’t predict the amount. It could be 1mm or it could be 100mm above median. However, combining this forecast data with the ‘Unusually Wet’ forecast data we can get a clearer picture of expected rainfall. If for example, there is a 60-70% chance of ‘Above Median’ and a 30-40% chance of ‘Unusually Wet’ conditions over the next two months, this indicates a good chance of useful rain but probably not record setting amounts.

“This data combination improves confidence in forecasting the amount of rain during the wet season and helps land managers to make good planning decisions.,” said Dan.

Searching for the ‘Chance of Above Median’ data in each area has been time consuming in the past. BOM resolved this with an interactive map the user clicks on to provide historical median figures by town. Once you click on a location, you will get a breakdown of all relevant data as seen in this example for Emerald.

BOM works closely with end users like FBA in their ongoing research and development of new tools. This collaboration influences software outcomes that present complex data in a format that that will improve decision making outcomes.

“Being involved from the beginning, FBA through its work with BOM and the NACP can advise land managers about how to use this new product. FBA Land Management Officers, who work in the field with land managers, can also assist with advice and programs that make use of more accurate weather predictions specific to the town or region of the property,” concluded Dan.

If you want to start using this tool or would like to find out how FBA can assist you in property management planning decisions, contact Dan Rea in our Rockhampton office for weather and climate forecasting in the Fitzroy region.

For more Climate Mate insights check Dan’s story of A Year of Extremes for Fitzroy Land Managers or head on over to his Facebook page to read his latest NACP blog.

P: 07 4999 2800