Qld Seasonal Rainfall Outlook: probabilities for July to September 2003, issued 17th June 2003

Above average seasonal falls more likely in north Queensland

The Bureau's latest seasonal rainfall outlook shows an increased chance for above average falls over part of north Queensland.

For the July to September period, the chances of above median rainfall are between 60 and 65% over an area of northeast Queensland roughly bounded by Mackay, Barcaldine, Julia Creek, Georgetown, Townsville and the coast (see map). So with climate patterns like the current, about 6 seasons out of 10 are expected to be wetter than average in this part of the State, whilst about 4 out of 10 are drier.

probability of exceeding median rainfall - click on the map for a larger version of the map

However, it should also be noted that July to September is the heart of the dry season across northern Australia and heavy rain at that time of year is uncommon. For example, the median July-September rainfall at Charters Towers is 27mm.

Throughout remaining parts of Queensland, the odds are generally close to 50% with no substantial swings towards a wetter or drier season. The Bureau's July to September rainfall outlooks have moderate reliability over much of Queensland, particularly in western and central areas (see background information).

The Outlook probabilities are based on recent Indian and Pacific Ocean temperatures. The tropical Indian Ocean is warmer than average, whilst the Pacific has continued to cool following the end of the El Niño. For more detail see the El Niño Wrap-Up. The overall pattern of probabilities is almost entirely a result of warmer than average temperatures in the Indian Ocean.

May's value of the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) was –7, two points below the April value of –5. The approximate SOI for the 30 days ending 14th June was –16.


Click on the map above for a larger version of the map. Use the reload/refresh button to ensure the latest forecast map is displayed.

More information on this outlook is available from 9.00am to 5.00pm (EST) Monday to Friday by contacting the Climate and Consultancy section in the Bureau's Brisbane Office: (07) 3239 8669 or (07) 3239 8666.


Archive of previous National Seasonal Rainfall Outlooks

Archive of previous National Seasonal Temperature Outlooks

May 2003 rainfall in historical perspective

March to May 2003 rainfall in historical perspective


Background Information