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Head of Operational Climate Services, Australian Bureau of Meteorology

Dr. Andrew Watkins is passionate about understanding the world around him. His PhD on sea ice and its influence on Antarctic weather and climate meant he not only visited the southern continent twice, but was introduced to the complexities of using, modifying and analysing dynamical climate models. His post-doc at the Co-Operative Research Centre for Southern Hemisphere Meteorology at Monash University involved researching decadal climate cycles and ways to better initialise weather forecast models. Andrew joined the Bureau of Meteorology in 1999, headed its long-range forecast team from 2012-2020, and is now the Bureau's Head of Operational Climate Services. He strives to match world class science with clear communication to help people make the best decisions.
Andrew has served on several U.N World Meteorological Organization (WMO) expert teams on climate matters, is a key contributor to WMO ENSO Statements, and has been a co-editor of the annual Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society's Status of the Climate reports. He was also editor, then editor-in-chief, of the Bulletin of the Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society.
He strives to make a difference.


  • 2020–present
    Head of Operational Climate Services, Bureau of Meteorology
  • 2012–2020
    Head of Long-Range Forecasts, Bureau of Meteorology
  • 1999–2012
    Climatologist, Senior Climatologist, Bureau of Meteorology
  • 2002–2007
    Editor, Editor-in-chief, Australian Meteorological & Oceanographic Society
  • 1998–1999
    Researcher, Co-Operative Research Centre for Southern Hemisphere Meteorology
  • 1994–1994
    Research assistant, Australian Antarctic Division


  • 1998 
    University of Melbourne, PhD (Climate Science)


  • 2015
    Seasonal Forecasting for Australia using a Dynamical Model: Improvements in Forecast Skill over the Operational Statistical Model, Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Journal
  • 2010
    Assessing the Climate Response to Major Surface Inundation: Lake Eyre, Australia, Environment Science and Engineering
  • 2004
    Ensemble prediction of blocking regime transitions, Tellus
  • 2000
    Current Trends in Antarctic Sea Ice: The 1990s Impact on a Short Climatology, Journal of Climate

Professional Memberships

  • Member, Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society

Research Areas

  • Climatology (Excl. Climate Change Processes) (040105)
  • Climate Change Processes (040104)