Forewarned is Forearmed (FWFA)
Equipping farmers and agricultural value chains to proactively manage the impacts of extreme climate events

This page provides an overview and links to extreme climate forecast products from the five year (2017-2022) 'Forewarned is Forearmed' (FWFA) national research project.

As a partner in the FWFA project, the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) has recently launched a set of tools on their Climate Outlooks to help plan for extreme weather and climate events – with more detail on extreme rainfall and temperatures for any location in Australia. The five new climate rainfall and extreme temperature tools provide farmers with information to improve resilience and productivity. Users can drill down to their location to view the chance of unseasonal and extreme temperature and rainfall for either the weeks, months, or seasons ahead. These tools were developed as part of the FWFA project, a partnership of the Australian Government and research and industry sectors, funded through the Australian Government's Rural R&D For-Profit Programme.

New features

Features 1 and 2 were released publicly on the Bureau's climate outlooks webpages in November 2021, including the extreme climate maps and location-based bar charts. The Features 1 and 2 video launch can be viewed here.

On 24 June 2022, features 3–5 were released:

The tools can be viewed on the Bureau's Climate Outlooks pages.

To support the release, the Bureau of Meteorology's Dr Andrew Watkins (Head of Long-Range Forecasts) and Dr Avijeet Ramchurn (Senior Climatologist) joined Dale Grey (Seasonal Risk Agronomist, Agriculture Victoria) in an online information session on July 14th 2022 exploring the new FWFA forecast products and providing opportunity for Q&A and comment.

Watch the recording of the event and scroll down for further information

The Bureau of Meteorology Climate Outlooks

A valuable summary about the Climate Outlooks is available here providing information about the maps and graphs along with videos and where you can navigate to find useful explanations of:
  1. Rainfall Scenarios
  2. Extremes
  3. Medians
  4. Outlooks by Location
  5. The Modelling
  6. Accuracy
  7. Climate influences

Information regarding the five new features is covered in 1 (3-day rainfall totals), 2 (Extremes Maps) and 4 (Location specific products: Decile bars, climagrams and Probability of Exceedance (PoE) graphs).
The following information about the new features is reproduced from those specific Bureau webpages.

Feature 1: Chance of extremes maps

Chance of extreme rainfall map example
Example map shows the chance of unusually high (in the top 20% of historical observations) rainfall for November 2021 – January.

Explore the new maps:

Features 2, 3 and 4: Location specific outlooks

Select any Australian location by using the search or tapping/clicking on the maps. This will pop up detailed information for that location for either rainfall, minimum or maximum temperature. Detailed information includes summary values and two outlook graphs for temperature, with three for rainfall. Stars indicate the historical outlook accuracy in that outlook period, for your selected location.
Pop-up content uses the closest 5 km grid box for your location.

Feature 2: Decile bar graphs

Feature 3: Observations and outlooks over time (Climagrams)

Feature 4: Rainfall line graphs showing the chance of exceeding a range of totals (Probability of Exceedance (PoE))

Feature 5: Chance of 3-day rainfall total maps

The example map shows the chance of receiving a total rainfall accumulation of at least 15 mm spread over three consecutive days during the week of 25 June to 1 July 2022.
Example map shows the chance of receiving a total rainfall accumulation of at least 15 mm spread over three consecutive days during the week of 25 June to 1 July 2022.

Watch Dr Peter Hayman (Principal Scientist in Climate Applications at the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI)) provide "An agricultural scientist's view on FWFA products to help manage a La Niña summer" below

This project is supported by funding from the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry as part of its Rural R&D for Profit program in partnership with rural Research and Development Corporations, commercial companies, state departments and universities. Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) is responsible for the overall management of the project.