Wednesday, 23 May 2012
Wagga Wagga in flood earlier 2012 (picture courtesy of NSW SES)
Twelve hundred flood warnings and watches, 2350 flood predictions and more than 6500 property evacuation orders: these are some of the staggering numbers from the widespread flooding in New South Wales since November 2011.
Read more about Big wet in New South Wales.
National map of probability of exceeding median rainfall
The 2011–12 La Niña ended in March, following the second successive summer in which La Niña contributed to significant rain and flooding across many parts of Australia.
The period from April 2010 to March 2012 was Australia’s wettest two-year period ever recorded. Despite its demise, ocean temperatures around parts of Australia remain very warm, and hence above-average rainfall is still forecast for some regions.
So with La Nina finished, what can we expect next?
Read more about Farewell La Niña.
Big picture for the Great Barrier Reef in sight
Snapshot from the near real-time hydrodynamic model of the Great Barrier Reef showing sea-surface salinity and surface currents. Image provided by CSIRO
The Great Barrier Reef is set to be seen in a new way. eReefs is an innovative project that will allow people to find information about why and how the Reef is changing and what could happen into the future.
eReefs is a collaborative project that will provide for the Reef information akin to that provided for weather. It will span the entire Reef from catchment to ocean, aid decision-making, and improve communication and reporting using pictures and maps.
eReefs will provide interactive information at scales and detail previously unavailable. It is a significant step in building comprehensive, national coastal information systems.
Geofabric webinar draws a crowd
Geofabric stream network and catchment boundaries
More than 100 people from throughout Australia joined our inaugural Geofabric webinars recently.
Participants dialled in via computers and phones to see an onscreen presentation and demonstration, ask questions, submit comments and contribute to discussions.
The technology proved an excellent way for Bureau Geofabric experts, Elizabeth McDonald and Malcolm Parnell, to demonstrate how to download and set up Geofabric data in an ArcGIS environment. They showed participants how to calculate rainfall statistics for a specified catchment area, and responsed to questions throughout.
Water storage expands
Screen shot of Water Storage product
The Bureau continues to expand the coverage of Water Storage, with data from a twentieth provider recently added.
Lake Awoonga in Queensland is the latest addition thanks to the support of the Gladstone Area Water Board. Water levels and stored volumes in Lake Awoonga are now available through the Water Storage webpage and iPhone app.
With a capacity of 662 gigalitres, Lake Awoonga was the largest publicly-owned storage not included in Water Storage. Its recent addition brings the total number of publicly-owned water storages reported on the website to 277. The Bureau is actively collaborating with other water storage operators to further increase the number of storages reported.
Water storage gives Australians access to harmonised, high-quality water information at a single site. It reports both current and historical water storage levels and volumes for storages across the nation as well as reporting aggregate totals for drainage divisions, major water supply systems, States, capital cities and the entire country. It allows comparisons between storage levels, and tracks changes over the previous year, month and week.