NT Seasonal Rainfall Outlook: probabilities for Winter 2004, issued 18th May 2004

Seasonal rainfall odds neutral in the NT

The Bureau's rainfall outlook for the early to mid-dry season in the NT, shows a pattern of neutral odds with no strong swings towards either wetter or drier conditions. This outlook pattern is a result of the combined effects of above average temperatures in both the Pacific and Indian Oceans.

For the June to August period, the chances of above median rainfall are between 40 and 50% right across the Territory (see map). So with climate patterns like the current, about five June to August periods out of ten are expected to be drier than average over the NT, with about five out of ten being wetter. Furthermore, with the coming three months being part of the dry season, heavy rain is very rare in the northern half of the NT.

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 June to August, history shows this influence to be moderately consistent across much of the NT (see background information).

Both the Indian and tropical Pacific Oceans remain mostly warmer than average, although the eastern Pacific has cooled. For more detail see the the El Niño Wrap-Up.

The Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) has been trending downwards over recent months with an April value of –15, following zero in March and +9 in February. The approximate SOI for the 30 days ending 15th May was +8.


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

April 2004 rainfall in historical perspective

February to April 2004 rainfall in historical perspective


Background Information