NT Seasonal Rainfall Outlook: probabilities for May to July 2004, issued 19th April 2004

Neutral seasonal rainfall odds

The Bureau's seasonal rainfall outlook for the first three months of the dry season shows the chances of exceeding the median are close to 50:50 over the Northern Territory. This outlook pattern is a result of the combined effects of above average temperatures in both the Pacific and Indian Oceans.

For the May to July period, the chances of above median rainfall are between 50 and 60% across the NT (see map). So with climate patterns like the current, about five May to July periods out of ten are expected to be wetter than average over the NT, with about five out of ten being drier. However, being the start of the dry season, rainfall totals are typically fairly low during this period, particularly in northern areas.

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 the May to July period, history shows this influence to be moderately consistent across most of the central NT (see background information).

Both the Indian and tropical Pacific Oceans remain warmer than average, although there has been a cooling trend in each. For more detail see the the El Niño Wrap-Up.

The Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) has shown strong month-to-month variations recently, in association with active and inactive phases of the northern Australian monsoon. March's value was zero following February's +9 and –12 in January. The approximate SOI for the 30 days ending 15th April was –20.


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 (CST) Monday to Friday by contacting the Climate and Consultancy section in the Bureau's Darwin Office: (08) 8920 3813.


Corresponding temperature outlook

March 2004 rainfall in historical perspective

January to March 2004 rainfall in historical perspective


Background Information