Regional weather and climate guides released

News article |

With regional feed-in from across Australia, the Regional Weather and Climate Guides Project has released their climate guides to help farming businesses improve their resilience.

[Photo from Ross Evans]

The project, part of the Australian Government’s Drought Assistance Package, aims to improve the resilience of farming businesses by providing regionally tailored information about the likelihood, severity and duration of key weather variables in regions across the country.

The Kangaroo Island Natural Resources Management (NRM) Board hosted a workshop in August for local farmers with BOM and CSIRO which provided farm information to the project tailored specifically to KI.

Presiding Member of the KI NRM Board, Andrew Heinrich says these guides will help farmers understand and manage their climate risk, by providing regionally focused climate and weather summaries.

“The guides detail historical observational information available from Bureau of Meteorology weather stations which has been informed through discussions with local producers, agricultural advisers, local government, and other relevant stakeholders from the 56 NRM regions in Australia, said Mr Heinrich.

“Farmers will be able to use the regional guides to inform on-farm risk management, help plan when to sow crops, when to harvest and much more based on the likelihood of key weather variables, which can help forecast probably weather shifts.”

“Regional discussions informing the content of the KI guide also revealed some of the emerging challenges for producers on the island, particularly viticulture, with highly variable weather confusing the plants”.

Regional Weather and Climate Guide project manager at the Bureau of Meteorology, Luke Shelley, said local support was a vital component in developing the guides.

“It was really valuable to have local feedback during the Kangaroo Island workshop to identify what information was most relevant to Island producers and how it should be displayed” said Mr Shelley.

The Regional Weather and Climate Guides Project can be viewed through BOM here: www.bom.gov.au/climate/climate-guides/

The project is a collaboration between the Bureau of Meteorology, the CSIRO and FarmLink Research. The guides have been developed in collaboration with representatives from each NRM region to ensure the information is tailored to the needs of local farmers and agribusinesses.

The last 30 years on KI

• Annual rainfall has been relatively stable

• Dry Years have occurred 11 times and wet years seven times

• Rainfall has decreased in the autumn and spring months

• Winter rainfall is reliable; summer unreliable

• Evaporation has increased in the spring months, but overall water balance remains unchanged

• There have been more hot days, with consecutive days above 40 °C

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