The practice of co-locating solar panel (photovoltaic) infrastructure and agriculture by planting crops under the shade of solar panels is called agrivoltaics.

Greg Barron-Gafford, associate professor at the University of Arizona, shows that combining these two systems — solar panel (photovoltaic) infrastructure and agriculture — can create a mutually beneficial relationship. According to Barron-Gafford, “In an agrivoltaic system, the environment under the panels is much cooler in the summer and stays warmer in the winters. This not only lessens rates of evaporation of irrigation waters in the summer, but it also means that plants don’t get as stressed out. Crops that grow under lower drought stress require less water, and because they don’t wilt as easily midday due to heat, they are able to photosynthesize longer and grow more efficiently.”

The solar panels also benefit from the co-location. When it is very sunny, solar panels begin under-performing because they become too hot. The evaporation of water from the crops creates a cooling effect that reduces heat stress on the panels and therefore increase their performance.

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The Bureau of Meteorology predicts a late rainfall onset is likely for much of northern Australia for 2019-2020

The BoM northern rainfall onset outlook gives an indication of whether the first significant rains after the dry season are likely to be earlier or later than normal. For the 2019-2020 season, there is below average chance of an early rainfall onset over most of northern Australia which includes the northern half of the Northern Territory, northern and eastern Queensland, and the far north of the Kimberley in WA.

Please refer to the BoM website for more information:

The 2019 Tropical Cyclone Season in the Northwest Pacific indicate 22 tropical cyclones in the region, which close to the long term (1970‐2016) average.

The consensus  of temperature trends over the Pacific Ocean since January 2019 and dynamic models indicate a weak or neutral El Nino persisting through the North West Pacific Ocean tropical cyclone season in 2019.  This is will lead to an average number of tropical cyclones impacting the NW Pacific region, but with above average intensities.  About 7 tropical cyclones (tropical storm intensity or greater) are likely to impact the South China Sea (a little below average).

For more details of the 2019 Northwest Pacific Tropical Cyclone Season Outlook, please click the link below:

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The story of the dog rescued from sea by an oil drilling team become viral. Not surprising, as it is one of the most incredible story I have witnessed whilst working offshore as an onsite Meteorologist. There are a lot of platforms around the area. The two big ones that are close to each other are the production platform and the living quarter platform. The dog truly has a strong survival instinct to choose the living quarter platform where workers use the lower decks to board crew boats that take them to the remote platforms.

It is still unknown on how the dog reached the platform. However, the action taken by the people that rescued the dog and brought it onshore is commendable. (by Aila Aguilar)

For more story:

Photo from Vitisak Payalaw Facebook
Photo from Vitisak Payalaw Facebook

A potential Tropical Cyclone brewing in the Arafura Sea poses another threat to the Pilbara coast after Severe Tropical Cyclone Veronica.

A weak low-pressure centre (Invest OWS60I19) over the Arafura Sea is expected to consolidate to a Tropical Low northeast of Darwin on the 3rd. It will then move WSW-SW to pass north of the Tiwi Islands, Nothern Territory late 4th while gradually deepening. Model guidance confidence is MODERATE that this Tropical Low will deepen to Tropical Cyclone intensity on the 5th-6th over the Timor Sea and move southwestward towards the Pilbara coast.

For more details on OWS TC Development Outlook, contact

Percentage of ECMWF ensemble members with winds of more than 25kt
(Model run: 01 April 2019 1200 UTC)

Severe Tropical Cyclone Veronica just off the Pilbara coast and Severe Tropical Cyclone Trevor over the southern Gulf of Carpentaria are expected to affect the northern coast coast of Australia.

Severe Tropical Cyclone Veronica over the NW Shelf has maximum winds of 90kt. It is expected to move SE and make landfall near Port Hedland at Category 4 intensity tomorrow morning. After landfall, STC VERONICA is expected to slow down and move erratically before moving W-WSW on the 25th along the Pilbara coast towards the NW Cape.

Severe Tropical Cyclone Trevor is about to make landfall over the NT coast, SE of the Pellew Islands. Trevor has maximum winds of 100kt near the centre and expected to weaken slightly before landfall. It will then weaken steadily overland.

Both Severe Tropical Cyclones are set to bring destructive winds and heavy falls.

According to the Bureau of Meteorology latest ENSO Outlook, the current neutral El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) has been raised to an El Niño ALERT. The chance of El Niño developing in 2019 has increased to approximately 70%, around triple the normal likelihood.

The latest WMO Climate Applications and Services El Niño/La Niña Update says, “the Sea surface temperatures in the east-central tropical Pacific were at or slightly below El Niño thresholds in January and February 2019, after maintaining weak El Niño levels during the last quarter of 2018. However, very few atmospheric indicators responded to the warmer than average sea surface temperatures until late January and February, when some finally reached weak El Niño levels in the central Pacific. Around two thirds of the models from WMO Global Producing Centres of Long Range Forecasts predict ocean temperatures to again reach weak El Niño levels during the second quarter of 2019. Given current conditions and model outlooks, the chance of an El Niño event to occur during March–May 2019 is estimated to be about 50–60%. The chance for a strong El Niño is low. The outlook for the second half of 2019 is currently uncertain. National Meteorological and Hydrological Services will continue to closely monitor changes in the state of ENSO over the coming months.”

In Australia, El Niño typically cause reduced rainfall, warmer temperatures and shift on the extremes, reduced tropical cyclones and delay on monsoon onset.

For more information on the BoM ENSO Wrap-Up:

Tropical Cyclone Marcus (March 2018)

Neutral to weak El Nino conditions are expected through the 2018/2019 Australian tropical cyclone season. These conditions should result in a slightly below average of Tropical Cyclones (TC) over the Australian Region, with about 7 expected and with 4 becoming Severe Tropical Cyclones (STC). Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) is expected to be near the climatological average across the three regions, with about 5-6 coastal impacts across all regions.

The TC season should start mid-November and finish in late April. TCs should be active for a slightly below average number of days during the season. The number of expected TC days is 29.


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The lava lake from the top eastern flank of Kilauea volcano on the island of Hawaii vanished on April 30, 2018.  A day later,  red-hot, molten rocks spew from a subdivision 10 miles away.  This episode is the latest eruption of Kilauea volcano, one of the world’s longest continuously erupting volcano.

Kilauea is a shield volcano. Like many Hawaiian volcanoes, Kilauea is made of basalt, a type of lava that flows very easily. Shield volcanoes are built by effusive eruptions which flow out in all directions creating a low-angle slope like a shield of a warrior.  A shield volcano is not dramatic compared to stratovolcano or composite volcano which is conical in shape and characterised by steep towering peak built by many layers of hardened lava.

Kilauea is the youngest of Hawaii’s aboveground volcanoes with two main craters –  one at the summit Halemaumau and Puu Oo, on the eastern flank. For the past years, the eruptions have alternated between the two.

Volcanoes give warnings when they are about to erupt.  The emptying of the Puu Oo crater’s lava lake and weeks of uplift around the crater all signaled that something is building up under the surface.  It was unusual that the new fissures opened up so far from the main vent at Puu Oo.

7am May 8, 2018, the Kilauae’s lower East Rift Zone has paused. Gas emissions continue & the fissure system is about 2.5mi long.

April 17, 2018 Lava overflows a small crater in Kīlauea Volcano’s East Rift Zone, adjacent to the main Pu’u ‘Ō’ō crater.

131107142831-02-typhoon-1107-story-topOffshore Weather Services (OWS) Tropical Cyclone Season Outlook for 2018 indicates the expected number of tropical cyclones (TC) over the NW Pacific region is 24, which is close to the long term (1970‐2016) average. The tropical cyclones are expected to be of slightly above average intensity with Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) 113% of normal.

The first 3 months of 2018 have seen negative conditions over the central Pacific, close to the La Nina threshold (‐0.8). The overwhelming majority of CGCM models show the NINO3.4 anomaly increasing during the next few months with the model average becoming positive around July. The average then continues to increase till December but remains below the El Niño threshold.

For more details of the 2018 Northwest Pacific Tropical Cyclone Season Outlook, please click the link below:

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