Qld Seasonal Rainfall Outlook: probabilities for Summer 2003/2004, issued 14th November 2003

Increased risk of wet summer in the northeast

The Bureau's summer rainfall outlook shows that there's an increased likelihood of above average seasonal falls in northeast Queensland. Elsewhere in the State, the odds are neutral, that is, they're close to 50:50. This outlook is largely the result of recent temperature patterns and trends in the Indian Ocean.

For the December to February period, the chances of above median rainfall are between 60 and 65% over a region in northeast Queensland within about 300km of Townsville (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 Queensland, with about 4 out of 10 being drier.

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

Outlook confidence is related to the influence of Pacific and Indian Ocean temperatures on seasonal rainfall. During summer, history shows this influence to be moderate in southern and eastern Queensland, but weak to very weak in the central and western parts of the state (see background information).

The tropical Indian Ocean has been cooling strongly over recent months and temperatures there are currently close to average. The Pacific on the other hand, 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 are the dominant influence on the overall pattern of probabilities.

October's value of the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) was –2, the same as that recorded in September and August. The approximate SOI for the 30 days ending 11th November was –3.


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.


Corresponding temperature outlook

October 2003 rainfall in historical perspective

August to October 2003 rainfall in historical perspective


Background Information