|Qld Seasonal Rainfall Outlook: probabilities for Winter 2005, issued 17th May 2005|
Neutral outlook for Queensland winter rainfall
There is a moderate shift in the odds towards below average winter rainfall across parts of southern Australia, the Bureau of Meteorology announced today. In Queensland however, the chances of accumulating at least average rain during winter are close to 50%.
The pattern of winter rainfall odds is a result of above average temperatures in both the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Across southwest WA and southeastern Australia, the warm oceans have a reinforcing effect with the odds tilted in favour of a drier than average winter. However, across southern Queensland and northern NSW, the effects from the two oceans tend to cancel each other, with drier conditions promoted by the warm Pacific and wetter conditions by the warm Indian.
So for the June to August period, the chances of above median rainfall are mainly between 45 and 55% over Queensland (see map). Therefore in years with ocean patterns like the current, about five winters out of ten are expected to be drier than average over the State, with about five out of ten being wetter. It should be remembered though, that much of northern Queensland is seasonally dry in winter, and significant falls of rain are uncommon.
Outlook confidence is related to the influence of Pacific and Indian Ocean temperatures on seasonal rainfall. During winter, history shows this influence to be moderately consistent across most of Queensland, except over parts of the northeast and far north (see background information).
The Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) has shown a high level of volatility recently with values of 11, zero and 29 for April, March and February respectively. The approximate SOI for the 30 days ending 14th May was 10.
Low SOI values and warming in the Pacific Ocean over the past three months have increased the chances of an El Niño developing in 2005. However, it is still too early to predict what might happen in the Pacific, with any confidence. For routine updates and comprehensive discussion 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 ENSO 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 8660.|
THE NEXT ISSUE OF THE SEASONAL OUTLOOK IS EXPECTED BY 17th JUNE 2005