Picture: Crops in a field. Credit: Tim Mossholder (Pexels).

Andrew King recently presented his research into the seasonal prediction of extreme rainfall to an audience of federal government, state government, and agricultural industry stakeholders as part of the Forewarned is Forearmed Community of Practice (FWFA CoP). 

The Forewarned is Forearmed research project is designed to help farmers and agricultural business proactively manage the impacts of extreme climate events. Funding partners for the project include the Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, BoM, Grains Research and Development Corporation, Dairy Australia, Wine Australia, Queensland Department of Agriculture, and various Universities, with Meat and Livestock Australia (ML) the project lead.   

Facilitated by Kate Finger, of the Birchip Cropping Group (BCG), FWFA CoP includes monthly webinars with speakers from research and industry and encourages discussion of the topics presented. The audience includes a diverse range of government, research and agricultural representatives, and is well informed about topics relating to climate science, such as climate data and seasonal prediction.  

Andrew presented with his co-author, Debbie Hudson (BoM). Because he was speaking to a well-informed audience he did not need to modify the content of the presentation but he did modify his delivery style a little to make it more informal.   There was a good discussion following the presentation and some interesting questions. He found the audience were interested in climate change and variability, and the effects of these on forecasting. 

The one area where Andrew found he did need to spend some additional explanation was around the model he used and how forecasts were made but, as this was something he would also do if presenting at the CCRC, not much additional preparation was required.  Andrew’s presentation can be viewed on the FWFA CoP YouTube link  

An additional benefit of the engagement was that following the discussion with the audience, Andrew realized that part of his current research could include consideration of whether the seasonal forecast model had been benchmarked during a period with more La Niñas. This may inadvertently lead to better results during those periods rather than during El Niño periods, and perhaps should be considered as part of the assessment of the success of a model.    

For any researchers considering presenting at the FWFA CoP, Andrew suggests thinking about concepts within your presentation that might require a bit of extra explanation, for example if you are looking at vortices or very specific measurements that might not generally be included in seasonal forecasting and models. The FWFA CoP is particularly interested in impact related research, such as forecasts around specific indices of relevance to agriculture.    

If you are interested in presenting at FWFA CoP, please contact Ian Macadam.