Tag Archives | Rainfall forecasting

Jennifer walking in the rain along Weyba Creek,  Noosaville, August 2014.

Skilful Monthly Rainfall Forecasts

THE accurate weather forecast of James Stagg back in June 1944 is considered crucial to the successful D-day invasion that changed the course of WWII. Should we find ourselves at war again, is there an institution or individual capable of providing an accurate short or long-term weather forecast? Dr John Abbot and I are working towards […]

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John and Caroline in Noosa National Park.

Don’t Retire: Start a PhD in Paradise

BEFORE the 20th Century there was no age for retirement. There existed a leisured class who through birth or industry could choose what work they did – if and when. But, even they didn’t retire. Retirement, like unemployment, can potentially reduce you to discussion of people, events, and lost opportunities, when great minds discuss ideas. […]

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Finding Figures Quoted in Media in IPCC Report Released Today

WORKING Group II, of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), published their contribution to the Fifth Assessment Report earlier today. The summary document begins by explaining that human interference with the climate system is occurring and climate change poses risks for humans and natural systems. The report goes on to assess the impacts, how […]

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Sea Ice Cover

What Drives Change in Antarctic Sea Ice Cover?

THE modern meteorologist relies on computer models for forecasting. Coupled atmospheric-ocean models, known as general circulation models, are favoured for medium to long-range forecasting with these models forecasting an overall and quite rapid general warming at the north and south poles. In accordance with this forecast, there has been a general decline in the extent […]

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temperature orange

Myth and the Bureau of Meteorology

WE know that the Australian Bureau of Meteorology can’t forecast weather more than a few days out. So why should we believe a climate forecast to 2030? According to Sara Phillips, writing for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, the Bureau’s new State of the Climate 2014 report is a reliable source of information because it distils […]

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John Abbot

ABC Rural Reports on New Rainfall Forecast Model

ABOUT one week after Central Queensland University put out a media release announcing the publication of our latest paper on medium-term rainfall forecasting, John Abbot and I received a phone call from the ABC, from a rural reporter. Part of the interview with Professor Abbot can be heard online here, http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-02-21/nrn-forecast/5275122 ABC journalists Cassie Hough […]

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duck pond

General Circulation Models Can’t Forecast Seasonal Rainfall

I’ve just published in the peer-reviewed literature explaining: “Much of the present research effort by government institutions in Australia, which is focused on monthly and seasonal rainfall forecasts, is limited to the application of general circulation models, in particular, POAMA. However, results so far have been disappointing with medium-term monthly forecasts consistently about equivalent to, […]

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Rain drops on water

Mining Historical Data to Provide Better Medium-term Rainfall Forecasts

THERE are at least 3 practical ways in which medium-term rainfall forecasts for Queensland can be improved: 1. Through the use of sophisticated statistical modelling techniques, in particular artificial neural networks to mine historical data for recurrent patterns, 2. The incorporation of relevant climate indices, including the Inter-decadal Pacific Oscillation, and also 3. The presentation […]

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Melbourne flooding 2010

Costly Climate Model Just a Big Boy’s Toy

THE only difference between some men and many boys is the price of their toys. This observation has much relevance to decisions made over recent years at the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, BOM. A toy is a game, a gadget, a gizmo that may have no real practical value. But of course it is fun […]

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