National Seasonal Rainfall Outlook: probabilities for November 2003 to January 2004, issued 16th October 2003

Above average falls likely in tropical Australia

The Bureau's rainfall outlook for the late spring to mid-summer period shows that above average seasonal falls are favoured in the tropics, parts of western WA and in small areas in the far southeast. This outlook is largely the result of temperature patterns in the Indian Ocean.

For the November to January period, the chances of above median rainfall are between 60 and 70% over the Kimberley, most of the NT and most of north Queensland (see map). The chances also exceed 60% in parts of western WA as well as along some of the Victorian coast and northeast Tasmania. So with climate patterns like the current, about 6 or 7 seasons out of 10 are expected to be wetter than average in these parts of the country, with about 3 or 4 out of 10 being drier.

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

In NSW, SA, southern Queensland, and remaining parts of the NT, Victoria, WA and Tasmania, the odds for above average seasonal falls are close to 50:50.

Outlook confidence is related to the influence of Pacific and Indian Ocean temperatures on seasonal rainfall. During November to January, history shows this influence to be moderate across much of Queensland, NSW, Tasmania, eastern Victoria, much of the NT and far north and far southwest WA. Elsewhere the influence is patchy but mainly weak or very weak (see background information).

The tropical Indian Ocean is currently somewhat warmer than average, but has been cooling quite strongly. The Pacific is generally warmer than average, particularly in the west. For more detail see the El Niño Wrap-Up. The recent temperature changes in the Indian Ocean have had the greater influence on the overall pattern of probabilities.

September's value of the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) was –2, the same as that recorded in August. The approximate SOI for the 30 days ending 13th October was –1.


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.

The following climate meteorologists in the National Climate Centre can be contacted about this outlook: Grant Beard on (03) 9669 4527, Janita Pahalad on (03) 9669 4859, David Jones on (03) 9669 4085, Felicity Gamble on (03) 9669 4256.
Regional versions of this media release are available: | Qld | NSW | Vic | Tas | SA | WA | NT |

Regional commentary is available from the Climate and Consultancy Sections in the Bureau's Regional Offices:
Queensland -(07) 3239 8669 or (07) 3239 8666
New South Wales -(02) 9296 1522
Victoria -(03) 9669 4949
Tasmania -(03) 6221 2043
South Australia -(08) 8366 2664
Western Australia -(08) 9263 2222
The Northern Territory -(08) 8920 3813



September 2003 rainfall in historical perspective

July to September 2003 rainfall in historical perspective


Background Information