National Seasonal Rainfall Outlook: probabilities for November 2004 to January 2005, issued 19th October 2004

Below average falls more likely in parts of eastern Australia

There is a moderate shift in the odds towards below average rainfall for the late spring to mid-summer quarter (Nov-Jan) in eastern NSW and southeast Queensland, the Bureau of Meteorology announced today. For the rest of the country, the chances of accumulating at least average rain for the coming three months are mostly close to 50%.

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

Through much of the eastern half of NSW and the adjacent southeast quarter of Queensland, the chances of above median rainfall for the November to January period are between 30 and 40%. So in years with ocean patterns like the current, about six or seven November to January periods out of ten are expected to be drier than average in these areas, with about three or four out of ten being wetter.

The current pattern of outlook probabilities is mainly due to increasing warmth in the Pacific Ocean.

Outlook confidence is related to the influence of Pacific and Indian Ocean temperatures on seasonal rainfall. During the November to January quarter, history shows this influence to be moderately consistent across much of NSW, Queensland and the NT, but generally weakly consistent elsewhere (see background information).

Progress towards a late-developing El Niño event has slowed over the past month, with consistent cloud and wind patterns failing to materialize. The central Pacific remains warmer than average and at levels consistent with El Niño, but the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) was only weakly negative coming in at –3 for September. The approximate SOI for the 30 days ending 16th October was –5.

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.

The following climate meteorologists in the National Climate Centre can be contacted about this outlook: Grant Beard on (03) 9669 44527, Felicity Gamble on (03) 9669 4256, David Jones on (03) 9669 4085
Regional versions of this media release are available: | Qld | NSW | Vic | Tas | SA | WA | NT |

Regional commentary is available from the Climate and Consultancy Sections in the Bureau's Regional Offices:
Queensland -(07) 3239 8669 or (07) 3239 8666
New South Wales -(02) 9296 1522
Victoria -(03) 9669 4949
Tasmania -(03) 6221 2043
South Australia -(08) 8366 2664
Western Australia -(08) 9263 2222
The Northern Territory -(08) 8920 3813



Corresponding temperature outlook

September 2004 rainfall in historical perspective

July to September 2004 rainfall in historical perspective


Background Information