Here is a list of useful website that can sometimes be found in 'The Break' - covering everything from weather, key climate indicators, seasonal forecasts and some global climate forecast models as featured in 'The Fast Break'.
In addition to the links provided below, this page will soon display forecast outlook maps that will be regularly and automatically updated via global forecast centres.
Sea Surface Temperature chart (NOAA) updated every three days. No serious evaporation of ocean under 24oC. Cyclones need above 26.5oC for formation. The worlds rainfall engine room is across the Equatorial Oceans.
Sea Surface Temperature Anomalies chart (NOAA) Updated every three days. SST’s don’t change much by massive amounts. El Nino and La Nina occur when the temperatures in the central Pacific are +/- 0.8oC. An IOD can occur when temperatures off Sumatra are 0.5oC warmer or cooler. The tropical oceans are nearly always warm enough to evaporate, but small differences in temperature make large differences to their evaporation rates. The warmest part of any ocean in the world and SE Australia’s critical moisture source is in the Coral Sea to the east of PNG.
Sea Surface Temperature anomalies charts, surface and to depth (BoM) updated weekly. Contains the best charts of Pacific Ocean to depth cross sections and the global 300m average temp. is useful for the IOD off Indonesia. Models are often getting their long-term prediction from these deep ocean signatures.
OOPC State of the Ocean Summary (Ocean Observations Panel for Climate). Presents current data and time series for Pacific, Indian and Atlantic Ocean indices as well as SOI, SAM and PDO.
Equatorial Pacific Ocean to depth analysis, trade winds, SST from the TAO-TRITON permanent buoys network. Updated daily, weekly and monthly. Contains useful comparisons to the same time in the previous year. Best place to get up to date trade wind direction anomalies. Trade winds, which usually go from east to west along the Equator, strengthen in La Niña or reverse during El Niño.
Cloudiness anomaly maps (Outgoing Long Wave Radiation) (BoM). Satellite derived maps of where there has been greater or less cloud to normal. Often linked in the tropics with SST underneath. Cloud amount at the junction of the Dateline and the Equator guides what is happening with evaporation over the warmest ocean water. Less cloud = La Niña and more cloud = El Niño. +IOD has less cloud off Sumatra and -IOD has greater cloud.
Monthly Mean Sea Level Pressure charts (MSLP mean and anomaly) (BoM). Useful to show in retrospect where the Sub Tropical Ridge has been positioned and if pressure has been higher or lower than normal. Has a useful archive of monthly pressure back to 2002. Normal winter position for the STR is level with the Great Australian Bight, and the summer position is centred over Melbourne. Deviations from these positions can affect rainfall triggers. Higher than average pressure over winter also tends to be a dry pattern.
Previous 30-day charts of pressure (MSLP) and anomalies (from NOAA). Rolling 30 day pressure charts, but with no archive. This site also has handy world Wind and Temp anomaly maps.
Graph of the current Southern Annular Mode (SAM or Antarctic Oscillation) condition (from NOAA). Crudely measures the position of the frontal systems spinning around Antarctica. A positive SAM in winter can mean fronts are pulled away from southern Australia, likewise a negative winter SAM can mean they are pushed closer. In summer a positive SAM can bring more rainfall to eastern Victoria
The ENSO Wrap. The BoM's fortnightly summary of the Pacific Ocean. The one stop shop for the commentary that never makes the media. Has graphs of sea surface temperatures values in both the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Information on Pacific sub-sea temps, updated daily SOI graph, trade winds, cloudiness and POAMA and other world model outlooks for ENSO and IOD.
Weekly ENSO expert discussion from NOAA. The US version of the ENSO Wrap.
The Long Paddock, Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) daily, monthly data (Qld Gov). Lists historic SOI, the Tahiti minus Darwin MSLP, current SOI phase and SOI charts. The SOI is usually negative in proper El Nino events and positive in La Nina events. Sometimes uncoupled atmosphere and ocean behaviour lead to the SOI saying different things to the Pacific Ocean. Values between +/-7 are considered normal. Link: https://www.longpaddock.qld.gov.au/soi/
The current phase of the Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO BoM). The MJO is a wave of cloud that travels from west to east around the world just south of the Equator. This happens over a period of about 40 days.The eight phase spider diagram tracks the MJO position and strength. Critical for tropical rainfall processes in the wet season, but can also act as a moisture source in the southern region out of the wet season. Link: http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/mjo/#tabs=MJO-phase
El Niño Southern Oscillation Index (ENSO)
Climate Dog Enso is your guide to understanding the effects of the El Niño Southern Oscillation Index on the Australian climate.
The Queensland Govt system of ENSO phases: Stone, R. and Auliciems, A., 1992. SOI phase relationships with rainfall in eastern Australia. International J. Climatology, 12, 625-636.
The three phases of the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO), Bureau of Meteorology Website
Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD)
Climate Dog Indy is your guide to understanding the effects of the Indian Ocean Dipole on the Australian climate.
The original IOD year classification paper: Meyers, G.A., P.C. McIntosh, L. Pigot and M.J. Pook, 2007. The years of El Nino, La Nina and interactions with the tropical Indian Ocean. J. Clim., 20, 2872-2880.
Modified and updated by: Ummenhofer, C.C., Sen Gupta, A., Briggs, P.R., England, M.H., McIntosh, P.C., Meyers, G.A., Pook, M.J., Raupach, M.R., and Risbey, J., 2011. Indian and Pacific Ocean influences on Southeast Australian drought and soil moisture. Journal of Climate, 24, 1313-1336.
Southern Annular Mode (SAM)
The Bureau of Meteorology provide an informative infographic outlining the regions of Australia that can be positively or negatively affected by the Southern Annular Mode.
Climate Dog Sam is your guide to understanding the effects of the Southern Annular Mode on the Australian climate.
SAM index methodology: Marshall, G. J., 2003. Trends in the Southern Annular Mode from observations and reanalyses. J. Clim., 16, 4134-4143.
SAM data source
Climate Dog Ridgy is your guide to understand the effects of the Sub-tropical Ridge on the Australian climate.
The relationship between the decline of South Eastern Australia rainfall and the strengthening of the sub-tropical ridge. Timbal, B. and W. Drosdowsky, 2012. International Journal. of Climatology.
The Bureau of Meteorology have produced an information video to enable you to better understand the affects of the Madden-Julian Oscillation.
Climate Dog Mojo is your guide to understanding the effects of the Madden-Julian Oscillation on the Australian climate.
East Coast Lows
Climate Dog Eastie is your guide to understanding the effects of the East Coast Lows on the Australian climate.
The following references have useful information about the interaction of all four climate drivers and their influences on Australia:
Risbey, J.S., M.J. Pook, P.C. McIntosh, M.C. Wheeler and H.H. Hendon, 2009. On the remote drivers of rainfall variability in Australia. Mon. Wea. Rev., 137, 3233-3253.
Agricultural Risk Management Tools from the Qld Govt. This is the son of RAINMAN interactive website. ClimateARM can investigate historic rainfall and temperature for many locations around Australia. Uses the SILO patch point database of Australian gridded data. Missing data values are statistically “created” from neighbouring data.
The Qld Govt. RAINMAN Streamflow program is a great free historic rainfall investigation tool.
Australian Landscape Water Balance (BoM). Modelled soil moisture map where the lower soil fraction (10-100cm) is the most useful for crop growth. Has both decile and % plant available moisture values on a daily or monthly basis. Link: www.bom.gov.au/water/landscape/
Australian Water Availability Project (CSIRO). Modelled soil moisture maps that also show other water balance parameters like Evap and drainage. The lower level is from 0.2-1.5m which can be a bit deep for many crops on clay soils. Link: http://www.csiro.au/awap/
MetEye (BoM). The man made graphical forecast at 3 hr intervals.
Water and the Land (WATL) weather for farmers site (BoM). The poor man’s ensemble, combination of world rainfall models prediction, 1-8 day rainfall forecasts for Australia. Two day frost predictions.
The BoM ACCESS model provides a 3 hr step animation of weather across Australia.
Synoptic chart 500 hPa prediction ECMWF (for finding cut off lows).
Individual Coupled Global Circulation Models (CGCM’s) from world climate agencies.
BoM ACCESS (Australia) Official Australian seasonal outlook. One week predictions for Rain and Temp. Link: http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/outlooks/#/overview/summary/
BoM ACCESS (Australia). One to three month outlook of Rain, Temp, SST. 1-3 month predictions of SST, Rain, Temp.
ECMWF System 5 (European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting, United Kingdom) 1-6 month predictions of SST, Rain, Temp, MSLP.
JAMSTEC SINTEX-F (Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology) Experimental, also info on the IOD. 1-6 month season predictions of SST, Rain, Temp.
NCEP CFS2 (National Centres for Environmental Prediction, USA) go to prec. (= precipitation) normalised E3 for the latest model run. 1-6 month predictions of SST, Rain, Temp.
NASA GEOS5 (National Aeronautical and Space Administration, USA) Experimental. Use the atmospheric and the oceanic tabs. 1-6 month predictions of SST, Rain, Temp.
JMA MRI-CPS2 (Japan Meteorological Agency) Experimental. Can choose individual months or next three months combined. 1-3 month predictions of SST, Rain, Temp, MSLP.
UKMO GloSea5 (United Kingdom Met Office) Can choose either probabilistic or ensemble mean maps. 1-5 month predictions of SST, Rain, Temp, MSLP.
EC CanSips (Environment Canada) This site is a privately funded mirror of the Canadian modelled data, which is hard to access otherwise. 1-6 month predictions of SST, Rain, Temp, MSLP
BCC CSM1.1m (Beijing Climate Centre, China) an ability to read Chinese or perseverance to find the right map is needed. 1-6 month predictions of SST, Rain, Temp.
Combinations of coupled models averaged out.
NMME (North American Multi Model Ensemble, USA) Experimental. Combines seven models from NCEP (USA), National Centre for Atmospheric Research, (NCAR USA), Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL USA), Environment Canada (EC) and NASA (USA). Powerful site as you can see all the individual model outputs and the combined ensemble. One - six month predictions of SST, Rain, Temp.
International Research Institute (IRI USA) Creates predictions from a recalibration of the NMME output. 1-6 month predictions of Rain and Temp.
IRI (USA) NINO 3.4 predictions graph. Combines predictions for 18 CGCM’s and eight statistical models from 20 climate institutions from around the world. 1-8 month predictions.
APCC (Asia Pacific Economic Community Climate Centre, Korea) Experimental. Combines models from seven agencies, APCC (Korea), Environment Canada, Met. Service. Canada, NASA (USA), NCEP (USA), PNU (Pusan National University Korea) and BoM (Aust). 1-6 month predictions of SST, Rain and Temp.
EUROSIP ensemble of 5 models from ECMWF, UKMO, Meteo France, NCEP and JMA. Experimental. 1-5 month predictions of SST, Rain, Temp and MSLP.
SOI phase system (Qld Government seasonal forecast based on SOI phases Australia). 1-3 month predictions for Rain.
DPIRD SSF (WA, Australia) Seasonal forecast based on SST and pressure indicators. 1-3 month predictions for South West Western Australia rain.