Gridded climate data


We can provide you with a range of gridded datasets (grids) for Australia.
List of gridded meteorological elements, and linked metadata

These datasets can be ported into a geographic information system (GIS) or similar visualization system. You can then use the GIS to investigate the data or generate maps.

Each grid is essentially a two-dimensional array of values (grid cells) which maps on to an area (such as part of or all of Australia). The values (data) associated with each grid-cell represent a meteorological element such as rainfall or temperature.

Note: Prior to requesting spatial data, please ensure that the available file formats are compatible with your visualization system/GIS. The Bureau does not provide advice on the use of proprietary software packages.


Information about each of the gridded datasets is provided in a set of metadata files. For example, they tell you how the grids were generated, the resolution of the grids and the areal extent of the grids. Metadata files are linked from the list of gridded meteorological elements.

Output formats available

The grids are available in a number of formats which are compatible with the more popularly used GIS software. These formats are described below.

NetCDF is a multidimensional scientific data format especially useful for the representation of complex spatial information (x, y) that also varies in depth (z) or time (t). The NetCDF data format can be used directly in ArcGIS platform from visualisation to multidimensional analysis of complex data sets. The structure contains the variable names and essential metadata such as units. For further information go to

Text or ASCII format – a two-dimensional array of text with a self-describing header. Details about the ASCII format (also available as a PDF file) and download a sample of the ASCII format .

Shapefiles – a shapefile stores non-topological geometry and attribute information for the spatial features in a data set. The geometry for a feature is stored as a shape comprising a set of vector coordinates. For more information about shapefiles go to

We provide point and/or polygon shapefiles - you can download a sample of a point shapefile and download a polygon shapefile.

Coordinate system and geographic extent

All grids are in GDA94 (coordinate system). More information about the Geocentric Datum of Australia (GDA) is provided at

The gridded data extend over Australia. However we can also provide grids for each State and Territory, or any rectangular area within Australia.

How to get the data

If you wish to obtain the gridded datasets, we will need to know:

  • The type of grid (meteorological element) you require (see list of gridded elements).
  • The period – month or months and/or annual.
  • The area you need – all Australia, a particular State/s or define a decimal degrees latitude/longitude boundary.
  • The output format your require (see information above).
  • Please note that charges will apply.
  • To order any data product, please submit via our feedback page.


Bureau of Meteorology, National Climate Centre
Phone: (03) 9669 4082, FAX: (03) 9669 4515

Copyright Information

Copyright for any data supplied by the Bureau of Meteorology is held in the Commonwealth of Australia and the purchaser shall give acknowledgement of the source in reference to the data. Please contact us for more information.

References & Guides