A weather monitoring blackspot in outback South Australia now has a new weather station thanks to a joint initiative by the SA Arid Lands Natural Resources Management Board and the Outback Communities Authority (OCA).
Located in the outback town of William Creek, the new weather station was opened on November 24.
The Marla/Oodnadatta Natural Resources Management Group lobbied for the weather station to fill a gap in weather data and forecasting in the region, with the closest weather stations in Oodnadatta, Coober Pedy and Marla – all more than several hundreds of kilometres away.
SA Arid Lands NRM Board Presiding Member Janet Brook said purchasing the $14,000 weather station is part of the Board’s commitment to climate change initiatives in the region and is a great partnership with the Outback Communities Authority, and also the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) which will make the data available on its website.
“Adapting to climate change is one of four key focus areas in the Board’s new 10-year plan and this project will assist pastoralists, tourism operators, transport companies and aviation operators across this region to monitor weather conditions and patterns with real time data,” Ms Brook said.
“This project has been made possible through a number of groups working together and we thank the OCA for their significant ongoing commitment, as well as BOM and the William Creek Progress Association, who installed the weather station, for their support.”
While the SA Arid Lands NRM Board purchased the weather station through funding from the National Landcare Program, OCA has made a commitment to take over its long-term management.
Cecilia Woolford, chair of the Outback Communities Authority, said the project fills a significant gap in the network of weather forecasting information and data available in the Far North area, and will provide more surety to those people who live, work and visit the region.
“We are proudly working to implement the strategies and recommendations contained with the Far North Climate Change Adaptation Plan and the OCA is delighted to be a collaborative partner in this legacy project with the Marla/Oodnadatta Natural Resources Management group and SA Arid Lands Natural Resources Management Board,” Ms Woolford said.
With the weather station now live, pastoralists and residents in the region can access the real time data through software available through the SAAL NRM.
This is an interim measure while BOM prepares software and programming to link the weather station data to the BOM site which is expected to be completed within 12 months.