Weather forecasting

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Data about farms' financial situation as well as the weather could help identify those most vulnerable to drought. Bidgee/Wikimedia Commons

Drought forecasting isn’t just about water – to get smart we need health and financial data too

Forecasting drought should be about more than weather – to help those likely to be hit hardest, we need financial and even health data too.
Hurricane Pali churns over the eastern Pacific on January 11. NASA Earth Observatory

Why are hurricanes forming in January?

January hurricanes are rare events, but two have already formed this month. Atmospheric scientist Adam Sobel explains the conditions that generated Pali and Alex.
Simpler climate models could help more people understand the processes behind the predictions. Pelfophoto/

Climate models too complicated? Here’s one that everyone can use

Climate models are complicated - and necessarily so if they are to recreate our complex world. But a new, simpler climate model aims to take some of the mystery out of the art of climate modelling.
This doesn’t happen very often. But the Bureau of Meteorology is getting much better at predicting when it will. AAP Image/NEWZULU/BILL SHRAPNEL

Weather forecasting is about to get even better

Moaning about weather forecasts is almost an Australian national pastime. But weather predictions have improved a lot, and with a new satellite and supercomputer, they are about to get even more reliable.
Breaking the ice: while scientists increasingly understand why Antarctic sea ice is growing, it remains tricky to forecast. Australian Antarctic Division

Expanding sea ice is causing headaches for Antarctic stations

Antarctica's sea ice is changing in ways that scientists didn't predict, and is now causing headaches for Antarctic stations.
The Argo ocean profiling floats are part of a year-round monitoring network for the world’s oceans. Alicia Navidad/CSIRO

Ocean and climate research has come a long way in thirty years

In 1985, when CSIRO's marine labs were launched, a seven-day weather forecast was little better than chance. Now, thanks to advances in our understanding of the oceans, our predictions are far better.
Clumps of thunderstorms are driving increases in rain over tropical oceans. Image courtesy of the Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, NASA Johnson Space Center

The tropics are getting wetter: the reason could be clumpy storms

For a long time climate models have forecast increasing rainfall in tropics. Now we know part of the reason: clumpy thunderstorms.
Adjusted data from Australian weather stations has been peer-reviewed before. But the government’s new technical panel could still offer useful advice. Bidgee/Wikimedia Commons

Bureau’s weather records to be reviewed again – sure, why not?

The federal government’s new “Technical Advisory Forum” on weather data, announced by parliamentary environment secretary Bob Baldwin last week, will “review and provide advice on Australia’s official…

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