|Qld Seasonal Rainfall Outlook: probabilities for February to April 2004, issued 15th January 2004|
Neutral seasonal rainfall odds
The Bureau's seasonal rainfall outlook for late summer to mid-autumn shows no strong swings in the odds towards wetter or drier conditions in Queensland. The chances of above average seasonal falls are generally close to a neutral 50%. This outlook is due to the fact that Pacific and Indian Ocean temperatures have a varying influence on Australian rainfall during summer and autumn.
For the February to April period in Queensland, the chances of above median rainfall are mostly between 45 and 55%, except for a small patch near Hughenden in the north of the State, where the chances are slightly less than 40% (see map). So with climate patterns like the current, about 5 seasons out of 10 are expected to be wetter than average over Queensland, with about 5 out of 10 being drier.
Outlook confidence is related to the influence of Pacific and Indian Ocean temperatures on seasonal rainfall. During the February to April period, history shows this influence to be moderately consistent across the northern half of Queensland, whereas in the south of the State it is only weakly or very weakly consistent (see background information).
The tropical Pacific Ocean cooled during December, but there was little change in tropical Indian Ocean temperatures. For more detail see the El Niño Wrap-Up. The temperature patterns in the Indian and Pacific Oceans are not extreme enough to produce large swings in the outlook probabilities.
December's value of the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) was +10, a strong rise from the 3 recorded in November. The rise in the SOI was in part caused by below average air pressure over northern Australia associated with a strong onset to the monsoon. The approximate SOI for the 30 days ending 12th January was +2.
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.|
THE NEXT ISSUE OF THE SEASONAL OUTLOOK IS EXPECTED BY 17th FEBRUARY 2004.