Webinar: Improving the Reliability of Australia’s Hydropower

Improving rain forecasting over Australia's hydropower generation regions

Date: Thursday, 12 October, 2017

Location: Wherever you are


Steven Siems

Monash University

Assoc Prof Steven Siems has a PhD majoring in Numerical Studies of Stratocumulus Clouds from the University of Washington. Steve’s background in boundary layer meteorology and cloud physics continues to guide many of his research activities today. Now at Monash University, Steve is currently leading a joint project with Snowy Hydro Ltd, Hydro Tasmania, the Victorian Department of Sustainability and Environment, and the Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research, to investigate the formation of precipitation in wintertime storms across Tasmania and the lower Great Dividing Range. Recent research has demonstrated that the pristine air over the Southern Ocean frequently contains large amounts of supercooled liquid water. The weather systems off the Southern Ocean are the sources of much of the wintertime orographic precipitation across the southern portion of Australia. Steve has a wider research interest in the weather systems off the Southern Ocean, especially in the boundary layer which is unique given the strong winds, waves and extreme amounts of sea spray. Steve is also interested in the precipitation from the trade winds regime along the coast of Queensland.



Efforts to improve rain forecasting over Australia’s hydropower generation regions have received a boost from the Australian Research Council.
Monash University’s Associate Professor Steven Siems has received over $450,000 from the ARC Linkage Program to improve forecasting rainfall and snowfall in complex mountain terrain.
Siems said he planned to lead a field research campaign in the Snowy Mountains next winter before heading to Tasmania the following year.
“In the end we really hope to get a better forecast of precipitation, which should help with water management for our industry partners – Snowy Hydro and Hydro Tasmania,” he said.
“They need to have a better understanding of where the precipitation falls and how much so they can better manage the day-to-day operations of their dams and power generators.”
While it is well understood that rain falls heavier in mountainous regions in general, the research aims to identify the exact influences of the complex mountain terrain across the Snowy Mountains and Tasmania.
“It turns out that the dynamics of this can be quite complex. That can very much depend on the local orography, the slope of the mountains, the wind speeds and the temperature profile,” Siems said.
“Also we’ve found that what’s important over southeast Australia and Tasmania is the microphysics. We’ve come to appreciate over the past decade just how much super cold liquid water we get.
“We get water that drops below freezing but it doesn’t turn into ice; this has a big impact on how fast the clouds precipitate.”
The field observations collected during the project will be used to assess the accuracy of high-resolution numerical weather prediction simulations of orographic precipitation.
Quantitative precipitation estimates (QPEs) and forecasts (QPFs) will be evaluated to direct future improvements.

Register:  https://zoom.us/webinar/register/7811697fb7be93537510d14dfea9e911
When: Thursday 12th Oct 2017
Time: 2.00pm AEST (QLD, NSW, ACT, VIC, TAS)
1.30pm ACST (SA, NT)
12 midday AWST (WA)
10.00am BANGLADESH Dhaka
9.45am NEPAL Kathmandu
9.30am INDIA Delhi
9.00am PAKISTAN Islamabad
Presenters: Assoc Prof Steven Siems
Chair: Trevor Pillar, National Partnerships Manager, ICE WaRM
Cost: Free
Format: 20min presentation, then 25min Q&A
Log In: To be advised on Registration


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