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New Software Released for Tracking Seasonal Forecasts

Site specific seasonal forecasts updated every ten days and easily interpreted with new viewer

Hamilton, New Zealand, 5 July 2018. The CLIMsystems Ltd subsidiary ExtendWeather has just released an important update to its ExtendWeather Viewer software. The updated program was developed to simplify the accessing, viewing, interpretation and sharing of the latest seasonal forecast information. With the most up-to-date forecasts in New Zealand released every ten days an efficient way of managing this important information was mandatory. The ExtendWeather Viewer now links to a personal on-line account where global and country area seasonal forecasts are centrally updated every ten days with the latest NOAA CFSv2 model runs. These runs are then processed through a proprietary downscaling methodology to a five-kilometre resolution for New Zealand. There are also global forecasts provided for important variables such as sea surface temperature and extreme rainfall and temperature probabilities.

The ability to access new seasonal forecast updates every ten days of between one and nine months into the future for rainfall, precipitation, and potential evapotranspiration is already being applied by energy traders, District Councils, farmers and horticulturalists. The ExtendWeather team is currently working on adding vegetation cover information to the New Zealand forecasts. This aspect along with future rain and temperature patterns can be very useful for bee keepers who have the capacity to move around a region to find the best conditions for their hives. Similarly, Waipa District Council is applying the tool and the rainfall and temperature data to improve its water management planning. As Ashley Wall of Electricity Risk Solutions Ltd noted recently in the two years that ERS has been using the forecasts it has ‘observed a strong correlation between the forecast for the next month and the actual weather outcomes over that month. For the 2 to 3 months out forecast ERS has been able to see strong trends appear that help to remove the unlikely outcomes leaving them with the more likely outcomes’. As Peter Urich the Managing Director of CLIMsystems noted ‘the ability to add GIS shape files to the program can assist with monitoring various environmental risks such as coral bleaching. By adding the coral reef shape file to the sea surface temperature forecast risks of future stress to reefs can act as an early warning system’.

The team at ExtendWeather has already linked with Farmlands so that subscriptions to the service can be charged directly to Farmlands accounts. More innovation is expected in this space as specific sectoral demands come from a variety of end users. The ExtendWeather team’s door is always open for discussions that could improve seasonal forecast outcomes for specific sectors.

ExtendWeather is part of a larger group of weather, seasonal and climate risk forecasting, modeling and consulting group at CLIMsystems Ltd with projects around New Zealand and the world.

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