About Agricultural Observations Bulletins

Agricultural observations bulletins for each state

The daily agricultural observations bulletins include a range of weather observations such as soil temperatures, rainfall  and evaporation amounts which are  of relevance to the agricultural sector, particularly for cropping , horticulture and viticulture management.

Report scheduling

  • The observations are updated daily around 10 am local time and again at 11:30 am to capture any late observations. Most stations report daily.
  • Maximum and minimum temperatures, rainfall, evaporation and wind run are for the period to 9 am on the day of reporting.
  • If the period since the last evaporation observation is more than 24 hours, the time in hours since the last observation is shown in brackets after the station name.
  • Sunshine hours are for the previous day.
  • Solar radiation is for the previous day.
  • Soil temperatures are current at the time of observation.

Observation terms and abbreviations

To save space on the screen, most observation table columns have abbreviated headings. Example
Note:

  • The observations have not been quality controlled.
  • '-' indicates that no data is available
Heading Meaning Units
Station Name Location of the observations.  
Date/Time Date and local time. local time hh:mm
24 hour clock
Max °C Maximum  temperature for the 24 hour period to 9 am on the day of reporting. degrees Celsius
Min °C Minimum temperature for the 24 hour period to 9am on the day of reporting. degrees Celsius
Terr min °C Terrestrial minimum temperature. The lowest overnight temperature measured at ground level by a thermometer fully exposed to the sky. This is sometimes referred to as the "grass" minimum temperature. degrees Celsius
Rain since 9 am
(Precipitation)
mm Rainfall amount for the 24 hour period to 9am on the day of reporting. Sometimes only known to the nearest whole millimetre.
'Tce' is a trace (< 0.1mm) of rainfall.
millimetres
Evaporation mm The amount of water loss by evaporation from a pan of water measured in millimetres per day for the 24 hour period to 9am on the day of reporting. If the period since the last evaporation observation is more than 24 hours, the time in hours since the last observation is shown in brackets after the station name.
The pan is about 120cm in diameter and about 25cm deep. The water levels are measured and compared each day. The difference in the levels is the amount of evaporation.
millimetres
Wind run km The 'length' of air passing the station for the 24 hour period to 9 am on the day of reporting. It is measured by the spinning cups of a specially designed anemometer, one revolution typically equals a distance of about 1.25 metres. These are usually sited near the evaporation pan at a height of 3 metres above the ground. kilometres
Sunshine hours hours Sunshine hours are for the previous day.
Sunshine hours are the number of hours of sunshine each day. The sunshine hours are measured using a sunshine recorder consisting of a glass sphere and a special card. The focusing of the sun's rays by the glass scorches a trace on the card.
hours
Solar Radiation MJ/sq m Solar radiation is for the previous day.
The solar radiation values shown are derived from the GOES-9 satellite.
The Solar Radiation Map shows the areas where data is and is not available.
Any use of the solar radiation estimates requires acknowledgement of the source of the raw satellite data. See details.
Megajoules per square metre
Soil temperatures °C Soil temperatures are current at the time of observation.
They may be measured at depths including 5, 10, 20 and 50 centimetres and 1 metre.
degrees Celsius

Observation data archives and station lists.

The Bureau's Climate section maintains observation data archives, station lists and details.
Climate data and further information | Weather Station directory

Observation data collection

Weather data are obtained from different types of observing stations around Australia, on offshore islands, and in the Antarctic. They include bureau staffed and cooperative observer stations, automatic weather stations, meteorological satellites and drifting ocean buoys, ships and aircraft that collect weather data.

At the majority of locations, Automatic Weather Stations (AWSs) send data frequently. Some provide data every minute, while others report on an hourly basis. The AWSs are designed to provide data for the Bureau's forecasting, warning, and information services, as well as providing data for the Bureau's climate database.

At some locations Bureau observers supplement the temperature, humidity, pressure and wind observations with observations of cloud and other elements such as sea state. These are referred to as 'Visual Observations' in some products. These manual observations are reported less frequently. For most of the day, three hourly instrument readings are made of temperature, air pressure, humidity, rainfall, and wind speed and direction, and visual observations are made of cloud cover and visibility. In addition to the 'surface' observations, at some stations the temperature and humidity of the upper atmosphere are obtained by balloon-borne instruments to an altitude of 25 kilometres.

The Bureau also has a network of more than 400 part-time observers who provide further surface observations.

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