WEATHER CONTROL: Farmers are being encouraged to attend climate prediction sessions.
WEATHER CONTROL: Farmers are being encouraged to attend climate prediction sessions. John Towells

Forecast weather like an expert

CRITICISING weather forecasters is like a sport for farmers who rely on predictions from the climate experts and are often left scratching their heads.

But one of Australia's leading climate exerts said its up to weather-dependent industries to take ownership of predictions.

University of Southern Queensland Professor in Climate Science Dr Roger Stone urges people in industries reliant on climate predictions to learn how to forecast weather.

He visited parts of south-western Queensland this month to train farmers how to read seasonal weather maps and make their own climate outlook.

"You can't just accept things off the TV or the web, you have to go to the next step and you have to own the information," Dr Stone said.

He said the free training helped farmers to navigate the plethora of weather sources and tools.

By the end of his three-hour workshops, farmers were able to produce their own forecasts, Dr Stone said.

The workshops were held by the Queensland Murray Darling Committee in Roma and Mitchell.

QMDC spokeswoman Rhonda Toms-Morgan said the committee was interested in hearing from Southern Downs primary producers to gauge interest in holding the workshops in the region.

"There is such a huge volume of weather information and tools providing forecasts from different parties and the courses run by Dr Stone and QMDC help farmers cut through all of that to understand what to use and how to use it for their own predictions," Ms Toms-Morgan said.

"The training can also be honed to specific industries.

"If you are making major management decisions based on climate, it makes sense to understand weather mapping rather than being reliant on other sources."

Contact rhondat@qmdc.org.au for further information.


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