Meteorological Data for Australian Postal Areas

TitleMeteorological Data for Australian Postal Areas
Collection TypeDataset
Access PrivilegesMeteorology and Health
DOI - Digital Object Identifier10.4225/13/50BBFCFE08A12
Website Address
Brief DescriptionClimate by areas postcode (ABS Postal Areas 2001)
Full DescriptionClimate by areas postcode (ABS Postal Areas 2001)

Background: To explain the possible effects of exposure to weather conditions on population health outcomes, weather data need to be calculated at a level in space and time that is appropriate for the health data. There are various ways of estimating exposure values from raw data collected at weather stations but the rationale for using one technique rather than another; the significance of the difference in the values obtained; and the effect these have on a research question are factors often not explicitly considered. In this study we compare different techniques for allocating weather data observations to small geographical areas and different options for weighting averages of these observations when calculating estimates of daily precipitation and temperature for Australian Postal Areas. Options that weight observations based on distance from population centroids and population size are more computationally intensive but give estimates that conceptually are more closely related to the experience of the population.

Results: Options based on values derived from sites internal to postal areas, or from nearest neighbour sites; that is, using proximity polygons around weather stations intersected with postal areas; tended to include fewer stations observations in their estimates, and missing values were common. Options based on observations from stations within 50 kilometres radius of centroids and weighting of data by distance from centroids gave more complete estimates. Using the geographic centroid of the postal area gave estimates that differed slightly from the population weighted centroids and the population weighted average of sub-unit estimates.

Conclusion: To calculate daily weather exposure values for analysis of health outcome data for small areas, the use of data from weather stations internal to the area only, or from neighbouring weather stations (allocated by the use of proximity polygons), is too limited. The most appropriate method conceptually is the use of weather data from sites within 50 kilometres radius of the area weighted to population centres, but a simpler acceptable option is to weight to the geographic centroid.

Fields of Research111706 - Epidemiology
Keywordsgeographical areas
postal area
Environment, Conservation, Land use
Date Coverage
Date FromDate To
Geospatial Location
Location TypeLocation Value
ISO 3166-1 Country CodesAU
Date of data creation2010
Year of data publication2010
Creator(s) for Citation
Given NameSurname
Publisher for CitationAustralian Data Archive

Identifier Type
Digital Object Identifier
Identifier Value
Publication Title
Hall G, Hanigan IC, Dear KBG and Vally H. The influence of weather on community gastroenteritis in Australia. Epidemiology and Infection. DOI: 0.1017/S0950268810001901
Publication Reference

Identifier Type
Digital Object Identifier
Identifier Value
Publication Title
Hanigan I, Hall G, Dear KBG. A comparison of methods for calculating population exposure estimates of daily weather for health research. International Journal of Health Geographics 2006;5(38)
Publication Reference

Identifier Type
Uniform Resource Identifier
Identifier Value
Publication Title
Meteorological data for Australian Postal Areas
Publication Reference

Identifier Type
Uniform Resource Identifier
Identifier Value
Publication Title
Garnaut Climate Change Review
Publication Reference
H.J. Bambrick, KBG Dear, R.E. Woodruff, I C Hanigan, A.J. McMichael, Commonwealth of Australia, (2008)

Access RightsOpen access. License: CC BY 4.0
Rights held in and over the dataCopyright © 2011, The Australian National University. All rights reserved. Based on National Climate Centre of the Bureau of Meteorology data. Based on ABS data, Australian Bureau of Statistics 2001 Census data is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Australia Licence.
Licence TypeCC-BY - Attribution
Status: Published
Published To:
- Australian National Data Service
- Australian National University
Identifier: anudc:2651
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