Overview of Australian CliMate

Keywords: climate, weather, risk assessment, probability, agronomy, agriculture, climate change, drought, rainfall, temperature, heat-sum, solar radiation, soil water, nitrate, heat stress, cold stress, frost, decision support system, El Nino Southern Oscillation.

Summary

CliMate is a suite of climate analysis tools delivered on the Web, iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices. CliMate allows you to interrogate climate records (over the last 60 yrs) to ask a number of questions relating to rainfall, temperature, radiation, as well as derived variables such as heat sums, soil water and soil nitrate. CliMate also provides information based on El Nino Southern Oscillation patterns. It is designed for decision makers who use past weather statistics, forecasts and knowledge of system status (e.g. soil water, heat sum) to better manage their business.

CliMate has a number of analyses structured around the following questions:

  • 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 hot-cold? When determining an ideal sowing date, when are heat and cold stresses lowest for the optimum flowing time? 
  • 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 wet? N? How much water and nitrate have I stored over the fallow? This may help me adjust inputs to better match yield expectations. 
  • 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 how reliable have these forecasts been in the past? 
  • 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 dry? Coming Soon! Based on recent rainfall records, are we likely to be facing a drought in the near future or are we in a drought now? And how do current dry conditions compare with previous droughts? 
  • How’s the Past? Presents views of monthly and annual rainfall and temperature summaries to allow you to explore relationships and patterns.