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Limestone Coast Weather Station Survey Results

The Limestone Coast Landscape Board invests $15,000 per year to maintain weather stations across the region that form the Limestone Coast Automated Weather Station Network (formerly the NRM Weather Network). The network makes current and historical weather data from 20 weather stations accessible to the public.

The Limestone Coast Landscape Board sought feedback from the community on how they access weather information and the use of the Limestone Coast Automatic Weather Station Network. This survey was conducted from 13 April 2021 to 11 May 2021. There were 58 contributors to the survey. The results are tabled below.

Before today were you aware of the Limestone Coast Weather Station Network?

Yes, and use it - 50% (30)

Yes, but I do not use it - 11.67% (7)

No - 38.33% (23)

Do you access information on current weather conditions to inform your business operations (such as spraying, spreading, harvesting, irrigation or research)?

Yes - 81.03% (47)

No - 18.97% (11)

Have you ever accessed the Limestone Coast Weather Station Network?

Yes - 61.70% (29)

No - 38.30% (18)

How often do you access the Limestone Coast Weather Station Network?

Weekly - 46.67% (14)

Monthly - 16.67% (5)

Rarely/Once - 6.67% (2)

Other - 30% (9)

  • Daily (3)
  • Multiple times per day (2)
  • Most days
  • Seasonally (autumn, spring) for rainfall and high fire danger days
  • Whenever there is a need to (extreme weather events etc.)
  • Not relevant to location

Why don't you access weather information for your business operations?

Not relevant to my business - 69.23% (9)

Current weather information is relevant but not important enough to use in my decision making - 7.69% (1)

Have not considered using current weather information to inform my decision making - 15.38% (2)

There is not currently any weather information available for my location - 7.69% (1)

Would you be interested in finding out more information on the Limestone Coast Weather Station Network?

Yes - 50% (1)

No - 50% (1)

What information do you look at when accessing weather information?

Temperature - 89.29% (50)

Rainfall - 92.86% (52)

Soil temperature - 30.36% (17)

Solar radiation - 16.07% (9)

Wind - 89.29% (50)

Humidity - 51.79% (29)

Dew point - 28.57% (16)

Forecasting - 48.21% (27)

When are you typically accessing weather information?

During the working day - 52.73% (29)

Outside of work hours - 47.27% (26)

Where do you usually access information on current weather conditions?

Limestone Coast Weather Station Network (formerly NRM Weather Network) - 41.07% (23)

Private weather station - 23.21% (13)

Paid weather app on smartphone or computer - 19.64% (11)

Free weather app on smartphone or computer - 51.79% (29)

Bureau of Meteorology - 73.21% (41)

Other - 7.14% (4)

  • Elders Weather
  • Weatherzone
  • The Limestone Coast Weather station network through the MacKillop Farm Management Group's interface
  • Willyweather

Do you find the platform used to access the information user friendly?

Yes - 100% (5)

No - 0%

Is there other information the weather stations could provide to inform land and water resource management?

Yes (specified below) - 20.41% (10)

No - 79.59% (39)

  • Forecasting, regional mapping, seasonal maps
  • Black Globe Humidity Index (to detect heat stress in cows)
  • The use of leaf wetness can be valuable to producers. Particularly when incorporated into disease warning and alert systems
  • Year to date info for previous year and averages
  • Flood prone areas
  • Calculation of Forest Fire Danger Index or Grass Fire Danger Index during the fire danger period
  • Webcam facing north-west and south-east to warn us of approaching wildfires.

How did you find out about the Limestone Coast Weather Station Network?

LC Landscape Board website - 18.18% (10)

Word of mouth - 29.09% (16)

LC Landscape Board staff - 20% (11)

AgConnect e-newsletter - 3.64% (2)

Other - 29.09% (16)

How long have you used the site?

Up to a year - 38.30% (18)

1-2 years - 0%

2-3 years - 6.38% (3)

3-5 years - 6.38% (3)

5 years - 48.94% (23)

Do you believe there is a need for more weather station sites on the Limestone Coast?

No, there is enough - 41.82% (23)

Yes (specified below) - 58.18% (32)

  • Millicent/Tantanoola (4)
  • Kalangadoo
  • Mundulla/Bordertown
  • Remaining gaps in coverage
  • Keilira, Avenue
  • Proximal to grape production areas
  • Willalooka, Sherwood, Padthaway, Colebatch, Swedes Flat, Culburra, Field
  • Kingston, Cape Jaffa, north of Kingston (Coorong)
  • Port MacDonnell (3)
  • The network needs to be expanded out to include more dry land areas, such as along the Coorong, ideally using existing stations owned by others.
  • Microclimates of Padthaway, Wrattonbully and Coonawarra. Typically have one public weather station every 27km on average (not including BOM). Narrowing these distances with more monitoring indicative of vineyard conditions will benefit growers.
  • Initially they were installed in irrigation areas; the expansion to non-irrigated areas has happened through third parties to fill some gaps, but some of these gaps still exist - particularly in the north-west part of the region

The Limestone Coast Weather Station Network (NRM Weather Network) is in need of an upgrade to continue to function after the switch off of the 3G network. Would you support the further investment of landscape levy money for these upgrades?

Yes, a base level upgrade at minimum cost - 29.63% (16)

Yes, a base level upgrade and improvements to the network and functionality of the data platform to access weather information in the region - 68.52% (37)

No, decommission the network - 1.85% (1)

Additional comments:

  • It would be nice to see the data be accessible in a more open and easy to use format for integration with other systems
  • Need to look at local service providers that may be able to provide this service at a minimal cost.
  • An information drive to advise agriculture of their position and available information.
  • The weather stations are a valuable resource for irrigation decision making. If you want farmers to be efficient with water then keeping the weather stations is critical. Very little value is seen from the levy for farmers as it is.
  • Making a user friendly app solely for the network of weather stations.
  • Very little else of value farmers find useful. Important to keep the network weather data is used daily for decision making about land management practices. Specifically assists with making decisions around irrigation which is improving efficiency.
  • I currently access the data through the Alpha Group Wildeye platform. It is a far more user friendly platform.
  • Use local company to deliver the network so it is maintained better and display can be improved easily.
  • The NRM network enables us to offer more accurate advice to our customers, benefiting them through better use of their water resources and/or increased productivity.
  • There appears to be a lot of confusion around LCLB AWS vs BOM AWS vs SAFECOM AWS.
  • I can offer a cost-effective NB-IoT weather monitoring option that is supplementary to the existing network.
  • Webcam.
  • Investigate use of lorawan for data backhaul.
  • Rates are too high in Mt Gambier anyway. Especially the white elephant no one wanted.
  • Modern technology encourages us to look at increasing use of webcams for many reasons. We should investigate more uses.

What industry do you work in?

Cropping - 26.79% (15)

Livestock - 41.07% (23)

Dairy - 10.71% (6)

Viticulture - 8.93% (5)

Horticulture - 14.29% (8)

Mixed farming - 16.07% (9)

Fisheries - 3.57% (2)

Forestry - 8.93% (5)

Research and adoption - 14.29% (8)

Other (specified below) - 28.57% (16)

  • Home weather work.
  • Engineering
  • Consulting to irrigators in all industries including horticulture, viticulture, dairy, livestock, local government and also education
  • Local Government
  • Previously Bureau of Meteorology.
  • Coast Guard radio monitoring
  • Biodiversity
  • Flying aircraft
  • Tourism
  • Interested citizen
  • Photography
  • Disability
  • Retired farmer
  • Environmental education and sharing research

Which best describes your location?

Yumali/Coonalpyn - 0% (0)

Tintinara/Keith/Bordertown - 8.47% (5)

Mundulla/Frances - 1.69% (1)

Lucindale/Naracoorte - 6.78% (4)

Kingston/Robe - 3.39% (2)

Penola/Kalangadoo - 15.25% (9)

Millicent/Mount Gambier - 42.37% (25)

Other (specified below) - 22.03% (13)

  • Tantanoola
  • Nora Creina
  • Canberra
  • Perth but we have a large SA customer base including in the Limestone Coast.
  • Port MacDonnell (2)
  • Coorong
  • Adelaide
  • Mingbool
  • Coonawarra
  • Beachport/Thornlea/Rendelsham
  • Field and work across and utilise information from across the LCLB region
  • Robe/Beachport
  • Upper South East
  • Port MacDonnell, Kalangadoo, Nangwarry
  • Square Mile/Yahl/Moorak
  • Penola
  • Beachport
  • Cape Northumberland, high point north-west of Naracoorte, Mount Muirhead, Mount Burr.

Any other comments?

  • I have been interested in weather since I was a kid and love watching all about weather of anything.
  • We are at Reedy Creek and our nearest weather stations (other than the NRM station) are Naracoorte and Cape Jaffa. Both these stations can give very different reading compared to actual on farm weather at Reedy Creek.
  • During hay season I use the NRM station hourly for monitoring humidity.
  • The weather station network is strategically located and has used high quality equipment but is poorly maintained. The platform for viewing the data is amongst the worst I have seen. With the assistance of a Mackillop Group funded project I am hosting the data and have it publicly available on the Wildeye platform which is a very contemporary platform for viewing the data and is very well received by growers. Last season I created a platform for the CFS in the Tatiara which gives them FDI and wind data from every publicly available (and some private) weather station in the district. This was very well received by the CFS hierarchy who are making decisions based on this network of information.
  • As per discussion at recent Kingston District Council deputation: There appears to be a lot of confusion around LCLMB AWS vs BOM AWS vs SAFECOM AWS, with the 'Monitoring Sites 2021' Map on the LCLB website very helpful. It appears there is a gap in BOM AWS particularly as there is no AWS for Kingston township/surrounds, or anywhere through the Coorong. This is a significant area without a BOM/LCLMB AWS, and the other locations are generally not reflective of this locality. Is there an opportunity for LCLMB AWS to consolidate with additional BOM AWS? Alternately, additional LCLMB AWS within the Kingston/Coorong area? How can we best advocate for additional BOM AWS in this location (Kingston township area specifically)?"
  • I recently spoke with Eykolina Benny regarding the current state of the Limestone Coast AWS network and possible opportunities for my monitoring products to feed into existing infrastructure. We use a novel approach to field and weather monitoring allowing us to increase granularity, with a focus on disease alerts for viticultural and horticultural sectors.
  • The weather stations are also vital for aircraft operations.
  • We would use the station if it were located closer to Kalangadoo. Don’t understand why it was located so far to the north away from the intense horticulture close to the town that would utilise the data
  • There is a weather station on a nearby property on Magareys Lane. Is that one of your weather stations?
  • Hi, PLEASE continue this valuable service, the Met Bureau stations are too far apart and often not working.
  • It would be great to have the summary list of all Landscapes Weather station sites at a quick place to see, so we can compare ALL rainfall results instead of having to access each place seperately?
  • Also, it would make more sense to include current rainfall data with last 7 days, and not have to wait until the next day for it to appear in report.
  • I use this site most days, sometimes 5 times per day or more if it is raining or very hot!
  • Please keep supporting it.