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Analysis and Comment (14)

Temperature data is freely available online - why not investigate. Temperature data is freely available online - why not investigate. Flickr/Luis Ramirez

How to become a citizen climate sleuth

There has been much media commentary recently about the Bureau of Meteorology’s efforts to use historical weather records to gauge how Australia’s climate is changing. Climate scientists have rejected…
An El Niño - even a weak one - can cause reduced rainfall in eastern Australia. An El Niño - even a weak one - can cause reduced rainfall in eastern Australia. Tim J Keegan/Flickr

Don’t dismiss a 2014 ‘super’ El Niño just yet

It looks like it’s all over bar the shouting for the chance of this year bringing on a “super” El Niño. Or is it? The Bureau of Meteorology has brought the odds of an El Niño event down to 50%, from 70…
What’s the best way to check the weather on the go? What’s the best way to check the weather on the go? Shutterstock

How does the Bureau’s new mobile weather site stack up?

Here’s a new bookmark for the browser on your mobile device: m.bom.gov.au. The Bureau of Meteorology has finally released its new mobile website, formatted for smart phones and tablet computers. The site…
The bigger the promises, the bigger the lie. The bigger the promises, the bigger the lie. John Giles/PA

Can predictions of ‘barbecue summer’ ever be reliable?

As notorious weather predictions go, the “barbecue summer” of 2009 is up there with Michael Fish’s dismissal of the incoming 1987 hurricane. The summer turned out to be wet and windy, and questions were…
Another great British summer. Another great British summer. [Duncan]

If next summer is rained off, blame the melting Arctic

Most people saw the warm dry weather from June to September as a welcome, but freak, occurrence. Because, as anyone who invested in floaty dresses, barbecues or expensive sunglasses in previous years will…
Storm’s-a-coming… Storm’s-a-coming… TEKN Photography/Flickr

The future will bring hurricanes to Europe

Damaging hurricanes are familiar along the US east coast, with the recent hurricane Sandy a dramatic example. In Europe we are unused to such dramatic weather and the widespread destruction that hurricanes…
Typhoon Soulik on 12th July 2013 as the storm approaches the coast of Taiwan. Typhoon Soulik on 12th July 2013 as the storm approaches the coast of Taiwan. NASA

Avoiding annual typhoon catastrophes

Typhoon Soulik struck Taiwan at the beginning of the weekend, killing two people before moving on into Guangdong in southern China, where 300,000 people have already been evacuated. Classed as a category…

Forecasting the chaos of tornadoes

During the autumn of 1944, the US Air Corps forecasting team made a series of perfect predictions about weather patterns over the Pacific Ocean. Or so it seemed according to reports from aircrafts flying…
It’s getting trickier to forecast future weather, but new models are helping. It’s getting trickier to forecast future weather, but new models are helping. Jay Wood

Seasonal climate forecasts: reading tea-leaves in a digital age

Tea-leaves, entrails, cockatoos: we all want to forecast the future. Weather forecasts have become so commonplace we rarely think about the technology, research, computing power and millions of observations…
The impact on society from the next solar maximum is predicted to be worse than the last. The impact on society from the next solar maximum is predicted to be worse than the last. NASA

Divert power to shields – the solar maximum is coming

Over the past few months our planet has been impacted by an increasing number of solar explosions that have erupted from the sun’s surface. Even though next year’s predicted solar maximum – the period…
There’s still much to learn about predicting the effect of hurricanes. There’s still much to learn about predicting the effect of hurricanes. NOAA

Blow by blow: why hurricane forecasts are improving

The profound impact caused by the storm that began as Hurricane Sandy has turned the spotlight on many issues, including forecasts. In short: how well was Sandy forecast, and where do our forecasts need…
Whither the weather: the Bureau of Meteorology’s dynamic climate modelling is not the only forecasting method. Whither the weather: the Bureau of Meteorology’s dynamic climate modelling is not the only forecasting method. AAP/Paul Miller

Predicting El Nino: a tale of two authorities

Over the last two summers, Eastern Australia has experienced two of the hardest hitting La Niña events since 1974. Widespread floods resulted across great swaths of the country. As expected, the La Niña…

Research Briefs (6)

Dust in Africa means rain in India

Dust from northern Africa and western Asia is having a direct influence on stronger monsoons in India. Researchers have found…