Susan Carn's favourite weather sites

I’ve got a list of weather and climate websites that I look at. Not on a daily basis - I’ve broken them down to daily, weekly, monthly and, as I like to call it, anytime reading.

I know it’s a lot, but I’ve been looking at all these different sites for a long time now and I know what works and what doesn’t, and what to look at, at a certain time.



Water and the Land

This Bureau of Meteorology climate site has SO much!

Under Rainfall have a look at the Recent Drought Report and the 3-month rainfall outlook.

Australian Climate Influences is my favourite part under Our Weather and Climate. Click on any of the map’s named influences and you get a really good explanation of how, when, and where it can affect Australia’s climate.

4-day forecast chart – BoM

Prognostic charts of morning and evening for the next 4 days showing highs, lows and fronts.

Estimated rainfall for the coming week – NOAA’s Air Resources Lab

This site is used for aviation. It’s a good one, but a bit tricky so here are some instructions:

  • Find a good atlas, or use a GPS if you have one, and find the co-ordinates of where you live.Type in your Latitude (Quorn is -32.347) and Longitude (138.04).
  • Click Continue.
  • Next to Meteorogram, choose a Forecast Dataset. Clink on the down arrow (v) and select GFS Model (0-180h, 3 hrly, Global). Then click Go.
  • Click Next.
  • Scroll down to the bottom to enter the access code (bottom right).
  • Type in the 6 letters that you see (either upper or lower case is ok) and click Get Meteorogram.
  • The first graph shows the total precipitation and when it is expected to fall.


7-day rainfall forecasts – Australian Weather News

Click on your area on the map; for example, 19 for Quorn.


10-day forecast from The Weather Channel

You can enter your postcode or select your state and district from the drop-down lists above the map. Scroll down to see the 10-day forecast below the map. Click on any of the 10 days to see the probability of getting more than 1 mm, 5 mm, and 10 mm.

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Indian Ocean Dipole explained by JAMSTEC

JAMSTEC is the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology.

Indian Ocean Dipole status

Shows the current status of Indian and Pacific Ocean temperatures.

Click on Indian Ocean dipole DMI for a graph of the last 2 years.

Above the graph, click on Full Series for a graph of the last 20 years. The horizontal lines denote the neutral zone. Anything strongly red (above the neutral zone) denotes a positive IOD year, and strongly blue (below the neutral zone) a negative IOD year.

Go back to Last 2 years and click on SETIO. This graph shows the ocean surface temperature for the south-east Indian Ocean which affects our rainfall patterns. In this graph, red means warm temperatures, which is good.


Southern Oscillation Index – The Long Paddock

The Average SOI for last 30 days is the number to look at here. Compare it with the Average SOI for last 90 days. Then on the left click on Graphs of monthly SOI values and SOI Phases.

An El Niño shows up as consistently negative, a La Niña as consistently positive.


Southern Annular Mode status


Southern Annular Mode explained

Check the Bureau’s explanation because the Southern Annular Mode is complicated and seasonal. For example, in parts of South Australia a negative in spring is not good, because it hampers low-pressure systems from heading up to Australia from the south-west.

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15-day POAMA experimental forecast

Forecasts for the next 15 days, then the following 15 days, and the seasonal forecast.

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3-month outlook – Bureau of Meteorology


3-month forecasts – JAMSTEC

JAMSTEC is the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology.

On the left-hand side, click on Seasonal Prediction. Read the Notes in the box at the top of the screen (use the scroll bar on the right of the box).

For a rainfall map, under Seasonal Forecast, click on the Parameter down arrow and select Precipitation Anomaly.


3-month outlook – APEC Climate Center, Korea

This site starts with an explanation of the 3-month forecast and a world map showing expected rainfall and temperature.

Scroll down to Deterministic MME Forecast to get a monthly rainfall breakdown for Australia:

  • Under Month, click the down-arrow and select a month e.g. December.
  • Under Variable, select Precipitation.
  • Under Region, select Australia.
  • Then click Submit. The map is displayed.


ENSO wrap-up

The Bureau of Meteorology’s wrap-up of the El Niño Southern Oscillation.


Dr Peter McIntosh, CSIRO

This site links to lots of climate models and their forecasts.

Under Useful, have a look at the ENSO/IOD years.

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Department of Agriculture, Fisheries & Forestry – Climate Analysis [Requires login]


DPI Victoria's Climate Dogs

My husband, Ben, really enjoyed the Climate Dogs. While he has a fairly good grasp of the drivers through being around me, he thought it was a simple way to explain a complicated subject.


Climate Kelpie, of course!


Information updated 2 Feb 2012

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