PROJECT 2.8: Extreme weather projections
This project ran from 1 July 2016 until 30 June 2019
Extreme weather events, such as tropical cyclones, bushfires, east coast lows and thunderstorms, incur significant economic, environmental and human costs. These events, and the costs associated with their impacts, are likely to change in a changing climate. Robust scientific information about the influence of climate change on these extreme events is essential for planning to improve the resilience and wellbeing of communities in the future.
We used observation data to examine historical extreme events and their causes to better understand how, when and where extreme weather events occur. We also assessed the ability of climate models to simulate extreme weather events, and investigated the causes of projected future changes in extremes.
As a result, we have produced new projections of extreme events, such as bushfire weather and tropical cyclones. This has allowed us to develop information and tools to enhance disaster risk reduction, emergency response, infrastructure design and operation, planning and policy making, and sustainable development.
Outcomes from this project will be used in the current Hub Project 5.5 – Extreme weather hazards in a changing climate.
Key project achievements include:
- Increased understanding of the causes of extreme weather events in Australia, and how these events are likely to change in the future
- Development of a range of synthesis products and tools to inform stakeholders, such as a tropical cyclone web portal, extreme brochures and input into national and international climate assessments
- Provided information and guidance to a range of stakeholders to ensure project products are used to inform decisions and activities within the emergency management, energy, financial services and infrastructure design sectors
For more information
Dr Andrew Dowdy, Bureau of Meteorology
Watch the Project 2.8 summary video
Publications and papers
- Ashcroft L, Dowdy AJ, Karoly DJ, 2019. Historical extreme rainfall events in southeastern Australia, Weather and Climate Extremes, doi:10.1016/j.wace.2019.100210 | Full paper
- Bates B, Dowdy AJ, Chandler R, 2017. Lightning Prediction for Australia Using Multivariate Analyses of Large-Scale Atmospheric Variables, Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology, 57, 525-534, doi: 10.1175/jamc-d-17-0214.1 | Abstract
- Bates B, McCaw L, Dowdy A, 2018. Exploratory analysis of lightning-ignited wildfires in the Warren Region, Western Australia, Journal of Environmental Management, doi: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2018.07.097 | Pre-print version An edited version of this paper was published by Elsevier Ltd. Copyright 2018 Elsevier Ltd. | Abstract
- Bell SS, Chand SS, Tory KJ, Turville C. 2018. Statistical assessment of the OWZ tropical cyclone tracking scheme in ERA‐Interim. Journal of Climate, doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-17-0548.1 | Full paper
- Bell SS, Chand SS, Tory KJ, Dowdy AJ, Turville C, Ye H. 2018. Projections of southern hemisphere tropical cyclone track density using CMIP5 models, Climate Dynamics, doi:10.1007/s00382-018-4497-4 | Full paper
- Bell SS, Chand SS, Tory KJ, Turville C, Ye H. 2019. Eastern North Pacific tropical cyclone activity in historical and future CMIP5 experiments: assessment with a model-independent tracking scheme. Climate Dynamics, 10.1007/s00382-019-04830-0 | Full paper
- Cavicchia L, Dowdy A, Walsh K. 2018. Energetics and dynamics of subtropical Australian east coast cyclones: Two contrasting cases. Monthly Weather Review, doi:10.1175/MWR-D-17-0316.1 | Full paper
- Cavicchia L, Pepler A, Dowdy A and Walsh K. 2019. A physically-based climatology of Australian east coast lows occurrence and intensification. Journal of Climate, doi: 10.1175/JCLI-D-18-0549 | Pre-print version. An edited version of this paper was published by the Journal of Climate | Abstract
- Chand SS, Tory KJ, Ye H, Walsh KJE. 2016. Projected increase in El Niño-driven tropical cyclone frequency in the Pacific. Nature Climate Change, 7, 123–129, doi:10.1038/nclimate3181 | Full paper
- Chand SS, Dowdy AJ, Ramsay HA, Walsh KJE, Tory KJ, Power SB, Bell SS, Lavender SL, Ye H, Kuleshov Y, 2019. Review of tropical cyclones in the Australian region: Climatology, variability, predictability, and trends, Advanced Review, doi:10.1002/wcc.602 | Abstract
- Dowdy A. 2017. Climatological variability of fire weather in Australia. Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology, doi:10.1175/JAMC-D-17-0167.1 | Full paper
- Dowdy AJ, Catto JL. 2017. Extreme weather caused by concurrent cyclone, front and thunderstorm occurrences. Scientific Reports, 7, 40359, doi:10.1038/srep40359 | Full paper
- Dowdy AJ, Fromm MD, McCarthy N. 2017. Pyrocumulonimbus lightning and fire ignition on Black Saturday in southeast Australia. Journal of Geophysical Research—Atmospheres. 122(14), 7342-7354, doi: 10.1002/2017JD026577 | Pre-print version. An edited version of this paper was published by AGU. Copyright 2017 American Geophysical Union | Abstract
- Dowdy AJ, Pepler A, 2018. Pyroconvection Risk in Australia: Climatological Changes in Atmospheric Stability and Surface Fire Weather Conditions. Geophysical Research Letters, doi: 10.1002/2017GL076654 | Full paper
- Dowdy A, Pepler P, Ashcroft L, Jones D, Braganza K, Bettio L, 2018. Climate change influences on natural hazards, Proceedings of AFAC 2018 Conference, Perth, WA | Full report
- Dowdy A, Ye H, Tory K, Jones D, Evans A, Lavender S, Thatcher M, Rafter T, Osbrough S, Walsh K, Cavicchia L, Evans J, Catto J. 2017. Extreme weather: improved data products on bushfires, thunderstorms, tropical cyclones and east coast lows. In: Rumsewicz, I.M. (Ed.), Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC & AFAC conference. Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, Sydney | Full paper
- Dowdy AJ, Ye H, Pepler A, Thatcher M, Osbrough SL, Evans, JP, Di Virgilio G, McCarthy N. 2019. Future changes in extreme weather and pyroconvection risk factors for Australian wildfires. Nature Scientific Reports, 9:10073, doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-46362-x | Full Paper
- Earth Systems and Climate Change Hub. 2019. Tropical cyclones and climate change in Australia. Available on the ESCC Hub website | Full Brochure
- Earth Systems and Climate Change Hub. 2019. East coast lows and climate change in Australia. Available on the ESCC Hub website | Full Brochure
- Earth Systems and Climate Change Hub. 2019. Bushfires and climate change in Australia. Available on the ESCC Hub website | Full Brochure
- Earth Systems and Climate Change Hub. 2019. Thunderstorms and climate change in Australia. Available on the ESCC Hub website | Full Brochure
- Grose MR and Dowdy AJ. 2019. Understanding the climate change information needs of the financial services sector. Earth Systems and Climate Change Hub Report No. 10, NESP Earth Systems and Climate Change Hub, Australia.
- Lavender SL, Dowdy AJ. 2016. Tropical cyclone track direction climatology and its intraseasonal variability in the Australian region. Journal of Geophysical Research—Atmospheres, 121(22), 13236–13249, doi:10.1002/2016JD025562 | Full paper
- Lavender SL, Hoeke RK, Abbs DJ. 2018. The influence of sea surface temperature on the intensity and associated storm surge of tropical cyclone Yasi: a sensitivity study. Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences, 18, 795-805, doi:10.5194/nhess-18-795-2018 | Full paper
- Lavender SL, Walsh KJE, Caron L-P, King M, Monkiewicz S, Guishard M, Zhang Q, Hunt B. 2018. Estimation of the maximum annual number of North Atlantic tropical cyclones using climate models. Sci. Adv. 4, doi:10.1126/sciadv.aat6509 | Full paper
- McCarthy N, Guyot A, Dowdy A. 2017. The Use of Spectrum Width Radar Data for Bushfire Model Verification. Proceedings of the 22nd International Congress on Modelling and Simulation, Hobart, December 2017, pp. 1131-1137 | Conference proceedings
- McCarthy N, McGowan H, Guyot A, Dowdy A. 2017. Mobile X-Pol radar: A new tool for investigating pyroconvection and associated wildfire meteorology. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, doi: 10.1175/bams-d-16-0118.1 | Full text
- Pepler AS, Di Luca A, Evans JP. 2017. Independently assessing the representation of midlatitude cyclones in high-resolution reanalyses using satellite observed winds. International Journal of Climatology, doi:10.1002/joc.5245 | Full paper
- Pepler AS, Dowdy AJ, Hope P. 2018. A global climatology of surface anticyclones, their variability, associated drivers and long-term trends, Climate Dynamics, doi.org/10.1007/s00382-018-4451-5 | Full paper
- Raavi PH and Walsh KJE. 2020. Basinwise Statistical Analysis of Factors Limiting Tropical Storm Formation From an Initial Tropical Circulation. JGR Atmospheres. 125(11), doi: 10.1029/2019JD032006 | Full paper
- Ramsay HA, Chand SS, Camargo SJ. 2018. A statistical assessment of Southern Hemisphere tropical cyclone tracks in climate models, Journal of Climate, doi:10.1175/jcli-d-18-0377.1 | Full paper
- Sharmila, S. and K.J.E. Walsh. 2018. Recent poleward shift of tropical cyclone formation and its link to tropical expansion. Nature Climate Change, 8, 730-736, doi: 10.1038/s41558-018-0227-5 | Pre-print version. An edited version of this paper was published by Springer Nature Publishing AG. Copyright 2018 Springer Nature Publishing AG | Abstract
- Terrasson A, McCarthy N, Guyot A, Dowdy A and McGowan H. 2019. Wildfire and Weather Radar: A Review, Journal of Geophysical Research – Atmospheres, doi: 10.1029/2018JD029285 | Full paper
- Tory KJ, Ye H, Dare RA. 2017. Understanding the geographic distribution of tropical cyclone formation for applications in climate models. Climate Dynamics, doi:10.1007/s00382-017-3752-4 | Full text
- von Storch H, Cavicchia L, Feser F, Li D. 2018. The Concept of Large‐Scale Conditioning of Climate Model Simulations of Atmospheric Coastal Dynamics: Current State and Perspectives. Atmosphere 9, 337, doi:10.3390/atmos9090337 | Full paper
This project is contributing to meeting the following climate challenges:
Our research will help lower operating and maintenance/replacement costs for infrastructure in the intermediate to long term, and reduce the risks to human health, property and the environment.
Our research will provide information and tools for use in decision making in relation to the influence of climate change on extreme weather events and their associated impacts on food security, ecosystems and natural resource management.