Qld Seasonal Rainfall Outlook: probabilities for October to December 2004, issued 16th September 2004

Neutral outlook for December quarter rainfall in Queensland

There are only small shifts in the odds towards either above or below average rainfall for the December quarter in Queensland, the Bureau of Meteorology announced today. This means that the chances of accumulating at least average rain over the last three months of 2004 are mostly close to 50% across the State.

However, when looking at the growing season (April-November) as a whole over southern and eastern Australia, widespread below to very much below average falls up to the end of August mean that many places are unlikely to reach their total growing seasonal average by the end of November. The chances of receiving the required rain are below 20% in southern Queensland, dropping to below 10% along the coast. For more information on the recent dry conditions, see the Drought Statement.

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

The current pattern of outlook probabilities is due to recent temperature patterns in both the Pacific and Indian Oceans.

Outlook confidence is related to the influence of Pacific and Indian Ocean temperatures on seasonal rainfall. During the December quarter, history shows this influence to be moderately consistent across much of Queensland, except in parts of the south and southeast where it is only weakly consistent (see background information).

The chance of a late-developing El Niño event increased over the past month, with several but not all indicators reaching their El Ni˜o thresholds. The mounting evidence includes warming of the central Pacific, reduced Trade Winds in the same area and continued negative values of the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) which came in at –8 for August. The approximate SOI for the 30 days ending 13th September was –3.

For routine updates on the latest data relating to El Niño, together with details on what the phenomenon is and how it has affected Australia in the past, see the El Niño Wrap-Up.


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

August 2004 rainfall in historical perspective

June to August 2004 rainfall in historical perspective


Background Information