Climate Outlook - Useful links to other websites
Victorian Resources Online (VRO) - Climate
Victorian Resources Online (VRO) describes the current climate, rainfall and temperature parameters for Victoria.
Monthly Water Report
The Our Water Our Future website provides a statewide monthly summary of the status of water resources and water supplies. This includes rainfall, streamflows, storage volumes, water restrictions, irrigation allocations and restrictions on unregulated streams.
Bureau of Meteorology (BOM)
Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) provides a range of useful sites. Their Water and the Land section is designed for agriculture and natural resource management. It provides access to recent, average and forecast rainfall, temperatures, wind, frost, etc and information on El Nino. These include pages that provide details of recent rainfall and temperatures. BOM also update climate summaries for Australia and Victoria by month, season and year.
Victorian Weather and Warnings is a general page covering warnings, forecasts, recent observations, satellite images and climate averages. For 7-day forecasts for specific towns use the clickable map. The new Forecast Explorer provides graphical forecasts of temperature, rain and wind over 7-days. The results are based on 6km grids and can be zoomed to any part of Victoria.
BOM produces computer model rainfall forecast maps that may be different from the forecasts provided above - be sure to click on the "chance of rainfall" button.
Seasonal Climate Outlooks provide 3-monthly outlooks for both rainfall and temperature and access to monthly SOI figures and the ENSO Wrap-Up - a regular commentary on the El Niño-Southern Oscillation. The Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) measures the differences in air pressures between Darwin and Tahiti. The July/August SOI for many Victorian locations has good skill in forecasting the seasonal rainfall outlook for spring. If the SOI is highly positive, the chance of spring rainfall is good. If the SOI is highly negative, the chance of spring rainfall is low.
BOM’s SILO website contains some free information (such as current and historical SOI’s and links to BOM climate forecasts) and some subscription information (detailed historical datasets from around Australia and meteogram outlooks).
Climate indicators in more detail
Climate forecasts are based on atmosphere, ocean currents and sea surface temperatures (SST’s). Differences in ocean temperatures between the equator and the poles causes currents and influence the sea surface temperatures. Warmer sea surface temperatures increase evaporation and can lead to rainfall. Changes in atmospheric pressure can be used to predict major climate extremes. The Bureau of Meteorology has a good series of articles on Australian Climate Influences.
Predictive Ocean-Atmosphere Model for Australia system (POAMA)
POAMA combines current and historical ocean and atmospheric observations from ships, satellites and weather stations. POAMA produces an eight-month forecast every day. Currently POAMA has most skill in forecasting sea surface temperature in the Pacific Ocean and the occurrence of El Nino and La Nina.
Sea surface temperatures (SST’s) help with forecasting in late autumn and winter even though they are usually linked to the SOI. View the Seas Surface Temperature (SST) Anomaly Charts at the US based National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD)
IOD compares the water temperatures in the eastern and western Indian Ocean. When the eastern Indian Ocean is cold and the western Indian Ocean is warm, an IOD positive event occurs and thought to be associated with drier conditions in Victoria. IOD negative is associated with wetter conditions.
The Long Paddock
The Long Paddock is part of an initiative to enhance climate applications research and climate extension activities for rural industries. The Queensland Government site update the SOI table daily and brings together SOI and sea surface temperatures into a summary report.
Australian Water Availability Project
This is an Australian Government project to monitor the state and trend of the terrestrial water balance of the Australian continent. The website has mapped past and current soil water across Australia.
Climate and weather research
Division of Marine and Atmospheric Research
CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research provides scientific advice and solutions on issues involving the atmospheric environment and the climatic systems. See the sections on 'Climate' and on 'Weather and Ocean Prediction'.
South Eastern Australian Climate Initiative (SEACI)
The SEACI is a research program investigating the causes and impacts of climate change and climate variability across south eastern Australia. The SEACI website has published a number of factsheets including the flyer Answering questions about climate in South Eastern Australia that describes current and future climates and climate forecasting.
Climate and agriculture
Climate Kelpie is a 'one-stop shop' for climate info for farmers, including decision support tools, plus links to many other climate resources (including several of the DPI Vic resources) and farmer case studies. All content is categorised and searchable by location, topic, and commodity.