How has the epidemic thunderstorm asthma forecasting system been developed?

Following the epidemic thunderstorm asthma event in Victoria in November 2016, the department undertook epidemic thunderstorm asthma forecasting for the remainder of the 2016 grass pollen season. The department has been working with the Bureau of Meteorology, the University of Melbourne, Deakin University and other research organisations to have an enhanced forecasting system operational by the 2017 grass pollen season. The enhanced forecasting system involves statistical computer modelling and information from an expanded pollen monitoring network in Victoria.

The department, Bureau of Meteorology and partner organisations are analysing historical weather, pollen, and asthma hospital emergency department data from across Victoria to build a solid understanding of the drivers of epidemic thunderstorm asthma in order to inform the forecasting of these events. 

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