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A pilot forecasting system for epidemic thunderstorm asthma in Southeastern Australia

Bannister, T, Ebert, EE, Silver, J, Newbigin, E, Lampugnani, ER, Hughes, N, Looker, C, Mulvenna, V, Jones, PJ, Davies, JM, Suphioglu, Cenk, Beggs, PJ, Emmerson, KM, Huete, A, Nguyen, H, Williams, T, Douglas, P, Wain, A, Carroll, M and Csutoros, D 2021, A pilot forecasting system for epidemic thunderstorm asthma in Southeastern Australia, Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, vol. 102, no. 2, pp. E399-E420, doi: 10.1175/BAMS-D-19-0140.1.

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Title A pilot forecasting system for epidemic thunderstorm asthma in Southeastern Australia
Author(s) Bannister, T
Ebert, EE
Silver, J
Newbigin, E
Lampugnani, ER
Hughes, N
Looker, C
Mulvenna, V
Jones, PJ
Davies, JM
Suphioglu, CenkORCID iD for Suphioglu, Cenk orcid.org/0000-0003-0101-0668
Beggs, PJ
Emmerson, KM
Huete, A
Nguyen, H
Williams, T
Douglas, P
Wain, A
Carroll, M
Csutoros, D
Journal name Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society
Volume number 102
Issue number 2
Start page E399
End page E420
Total pages 22
Publisher American Meteorological Society
Place of publication Boston, Mass.
Publication date 2021
ISSN 0003-0007
1520-0477
Summary AbstractIn November 2016, an unprecedented epidemic thunderstorm asthma event in Victoria, Australia, resulted in many thousands of people developing breathing difficulties in a very short period of time, including 10 deaths, and created extreme demand across the Victorian health services. To better prepare for future events, a pilot forecasting system for epidemic thunderstorm asthma (ETSA) risk has been developed for Victoria. The system uses a categorical risk-based approach, combining operational forecasting of gusty winds in severe thunderstorms with statistical forecasts of high ambient grass pollen concentrations, which together generate the risk of epidemic thunderstorm asthma. This pilot system provides the first routine daily epidemic thunderstorm asthma risk forecasting service in the world that covers a wide area, and integrates into the health, ambulance, and emergency management sector. Epidemic thunderstorm asthma events have historically occurred infrequently, and no event of similar magnitude has impacted the Victorian health system since. However, during the first three years of the pilot, 2017–19, two high asthma presentation events and four moderate asthma presentation events were identified from public hospital emergency department records. The ETSA risk forecasts showed skill in discriminating between days with and without health impacts. However, even with hindsight of the actual weather and airborne grass pollen conditions, some high asthma presentation events occurred in districts that were assessed as low risk for ETSA, reflecting the challenge of predicting this unusual phenomenon.
Language eng
DOI 10.1175/BAMS-D-19-0140.1
Indigenous content off
Field of Research 0201 Astronomical and Space Sciences
0401 Atmospheric Sciences
0406 Physical Geography and Environmental Geoscience
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Free to Read? Yes
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30149780

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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.