CLIMATE

Explore recent and past climate records for your location and get answers about rainfall, temperature and radiation; and derived variables such as heat sums, stored soil water and soil nitrate accumulation in fallows; as well as El Nino – Southern Oscillation status.

WHO THIS TOOL IS FOR
Producers, consultants, insurers and the insured, who use weather data, statistics and forecasts together with knowledge about their farming system status (e.g. soil water, heat sum) and want to better manage their business by understanding recent weather and probabilities of future weather events.
QUESTIONS THIS TOOL ANSWERS

CliMate has 10 tools, which answer questions such as:

  • Season’s progress? When adjusting inputs during a crop or pasture season, how does the current season compare with previous conditions in terms of rainfall, temperature, heat sum or radiation?
  • How often? What is the chance of a sowing event based on amount of rainfall over 5 days? How often is a heat sum achieved in a set period of time? What is the probability of temperature being below a critical level for germination or flowering?
  • How wet? N? How much water and nitrate have I stored over the fallow? This may help me adjust inputs to better match yield expectations.
  • Potential Yield? is a re-enactment of the Potential Yield calculator (PYCAL) first developed by S and D Tennant, Western Australian Department of Agriculture in 1993 and 2000.
  • How’s the drought? provides a daily update of drought status for a location
  • How hot-cold? When determining an ideal sowing date, when are heat and cold stresses lowest for the optimum flowing time?
  • How likely? Based on current ENSO conditions, what is the probability that rainfall or temperature is greater than or less than key thresholds (e.g. terciles, median) and past skill of these forecasts. [to be updated to Access-S]
  • How’s El Nino? What is the current ENSO status based on key atmospheric and oceanic indicators? What is the Australian Bureau of Meteorology’s interpretation of this?
  • How’s the Past? Presents views of monthly and annual rainfall and temperature summaries to allow you to explore relationships and patterns.
  • What Trend? plots weather records to explore trends. A time series graph with a line of best fit (least sum of squares), differences from the mean and cumulative differences (residual mass curves) provide other views of long term data.
WHAT THIS TOOL DOES

CliMate helps you interrogate climate records (over the last 120 years) to ask questions for your location relating to rainfall, temperature and radiation, and derived variables such as heat sums, soil water and soil nitrate.

It also provides seasonal forecast information based on El Nino – Southern Oscillation patterns.

You can use CliMate online, or on your iPhone, iPad (iOS) or Android device.

CliMate has 10 analyses:

  • How’s the season?
  • How often?
  • How wet/nitrate?
  • Yield Potential?
  • Drought?
  • How hot–cold?
  • How likely?
  • How’s El Nino?
  • How’s the Past?
  • What trend?
INPUTS
Below is a description of the inputs required for the following analyses in Australian CliMate:

ToolInputs
How’s the season?• a weather variable you want to explore (rainfall, average daily temperature, radiation, heat sum)
• a starting month
• a duration.
How often?• a weather variable you want to explore (rainfall, temperature, radiation)
• a threshold value
• a sample period.
How wet/nitrate?• a selected soil type
• length of fallow period
• an estimate of soil cover and starting soil moisture.
Potential yield?• planting date
• maturity duration
• starting soul water
• water use efficiency (WUE)
• ‘threshold’ water
• weather station location
• date range of climate data
Drought?• weather station location
• time period assessed over
• date range of climate data
How hot/cold?• location to be assessed
• a specified date for risk-assessment
• hot and cold stress threshold temperatures
• a risk probability.
How likely?• a weather variable you want to explore (rainfall, minimum or maximum temperature)
• a conditional operator (greater than or less than)
• a target statistic (median or tercile threshold)
• a duration (months into the future).
How's El Nino?• This tool does not require any user-defined inputs.
How's the Past?• Select a weather variable you want to explore (rainfall, minimum or maximum temperature, radiation)
What trend?• weather variable you want to explore (rainfall, temperature and solar radiation)
• weather station location
• range of dates to analyse
• month or months of the year to analyse

Note: Decadal periods of interest can be selected for each analyses e.g. 1900 – present or 1980 to present. Default values are provided for most cases.

OUTPUTS
CliMate gives you graphs and charts with accompanying descriptive text. Each tool’s outputs are shown below:

ToolsOutputsHow it looks
How’s the season?• the current season’s rainfall, average temperature, heat sums and radiation compared to all years from 1949.
How often?• probabilities of future rainfall, temperature or radiation events.
How wet/nitrate?• plant-available soil water (mm) for the current year, compared to all years since 1949
• fallow water balance for the current fallow
• relative nitrate mineralisation for the current year compared to all years since 1949.
Potential Yield?• estimated kg/ha from a designated sowing date
Drought?• estimated likelihood of drought conditions
How hot/cold?• the risk of heat and cold stresses for a specified date
• the probability of heat and cold stress for each day of the year.
How likely?• probability of rainfall and temperature forecast for the next 3–6 months
• estimate of the past skill of the forecast based on sea surface temperatures.
How's El Nino?• the current state of the ENSO cycle
• Bureau of Meteorology current ENSO summary
• sea surface temperature anomaly map.
How's the Past?• monthly and annual rainfall, minimum and maximum temperature, and radiation values
• ENSO status, as a visual comparison of annual characteristics and the predominant ENSO pattern for the year.
What trend?• historical rainfall data represented over a period

RELIABILITY
CliMate sources data from the Queensland Government’s SILO climate database, which is a database of enhanced long-term Bureau of Meteorology data.
HISTORY
Australian CliMate was initially developed for the Managing Climate Variability program in 2011 and revised by the University of Southern Queensland in 2018.
SUPPORT AVAILABLE

Help is available within the app and CliMate App website.

WHERE TO GET IT

Australian CliMate is available:

COST
Free

IS THERE A CLIMATE-RELATED DECISION-SUPPORT TOOL YOU’D LIKE TO SUGGEST?

Contact us >