Overview of Australian CliMate

CliMate contains ten analyses delivered on: Web App, iOS (iPhone, iPad) and Android devices. An update for iOS and a new Android version are due later in 2017.

Each analysis interrogates long term climate records to ask questions relating to rainfall, temperature, radiation, and derived variables such as heat sum, soil water, nitrate accumulation, yield potential, drought, seasonal forecasts and time trend analyses.  

It is designed for decision makers who use knowledge of system status (e.g. soil water, heat sum) and probabilities of weather events to manage risk.

CliMate II builds on Version I of Australian CliMate developed for the Managing Climate Variability Program in project "Australian CliMate Development"  [MCV00028].

Australian CliMate uses Bureau of Meteorology data and the Queensland Government’s Silo database and incorporates ideas from previous decision support tools.


Keywords: climate, weather, risk assessment, probability, agronomy, agriculture, climate change, drought, rainfall, temperature, heat-sum, solar radiation, soil water, nitrate, heat stress, cold stress, frost, decision support system, El Nino Southern Oscillation.

CliMate  analyses are structured around the following questions:

  • Season’s progress? When adjusting inputs during a crop or pasture season, how does the current season compare with previous conditions in terms of rainfall, temperature, heat sum or radiation? 
  • How often? What is the chance of a sowing event based on amount of rainfall over 5 days? How often is a heat sum achieved in a set period of time? What is the probability of temperature being below a critical level for germination or flowering?
  •  How wet? N? How much water and nitrate have I stored over the fallow? This may help me adjust inputs to better match yield expectations.
  • Potential Yield?  is a re-enactment of the Potential Yield calculator (PYCAL) first developed by S and D Tennant, Western Australian Department of Agriculture in 1993 and 2000.
  • How's the drought? provides a daily update of drought status for an location
  • How hot-cold? When determining an ideal sowing date, when are heat and cold stresses lowest for the optimum flowing time? 
  • How likely? Based on current ENSO conditions, what is the probability that rainfall or temperature is greater than or less than key thresholds (e.g. terciles, median) and how reliable have these forecasts been in the past? 
  • How’s El Nino? What is the current ENSO status based on key atmospheric and oceanic indicators? What is the Australian Bureau of Meteorology’s interpretation of this? 
  • How’s the Past? Presents views of monthly and annual rainfall and temperature summaries to allow you to explore relationships and patterns.
  • What Trend? plots weather records to explore trends. A time series graph with a line of best fit (least sum of squares), differences from the mean and cumulative differences (residual mass curves) provide other views of long term data.