WHERE TO GO FOR
SHORT-TERM WEATHER FORECASTS
The weather is one of the biggest risks and uncertainties involved in farming and one that we have no power to affect — this is nothing new.
However, the technology involved in predicting the weather is becoming more and more precise.
Although forecasts are rarely 100% accurate, by aligning ourselves with the best forecasting resources and data (often more than one), we give ourselves the enhanced ability to plan and strategise accordingly.
There are domestic and global websites and models, real-time weather radars, and apps that we can draw upon to do this.
We have brought the most popular sources together so you can see what they are all predicting.
The Australian Government's Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) has a dedicated section for agriculture that focuses on forecast rainfall, wind and frost. There is a multitude of short-term information available, including rain radars, satellite images and weather maps.
Operating out of Narrabri, OzForecast has a realtime radar, lightning, weather station observations and tide and weather forecasts for 15,000 Australian locations.
Enter the name of your town and OzForecast customises the information for you. The weekly rain forecast is useful as it lines up three different models —
The Australian Digital Forecast Database (ADFD) and Operational Consensus Forecast (OCF) from the BOM and the Global Forecast System (GFS) model from NOAA NOMADS. When the three rain forecasts line up (rarely they do), it gives a more accurate prediction of the rain expected.
yr.no is a free weather data service and collaboration between the Norwegian Meteorological Institute and the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation. It offers weather forecasts for more than 6.3 million places worldwide.
The forecasts, which have become popular with Australians, are based on data provided by Norwegian Meteorological Institute and international partner institutions, including the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF).
AccuWeather, based in the United States, is stated to be relied on by 1 billion people daily. According to the website, "AccuWeather provides hourly and Minute by Minute™ forecasts with Superior Accuracy™ for any longitude/latitude on Earth, with customized content."
A.V. Weather is a page dedicated to those people who require custom forecasts on any time scale in Australia. Seasonal outlooks, weekly forecasts, daily forecasts, plus daily updates are all available through a small subscription service.