|National Seasonal Rainfall Outlook: probabilities for February to April 2006, issued 24th January 2006|
Reduced seasonal falls in north Queensland
There is a moderate shift in the odds towards below average rainfall for the late summer to mid-autumn period (February to April) over north Queensland, the Bureau of Meteorology announced today. However, the chances of accumulating at least median rain during the coming three months are close to 50% across the rest of the country.
For the February to April period, the chances of above median rainfall are between 30 and 40% in Queensland north of about St Lawrence (see map), which means that below median falls have a 60 to 70% chance of occurring.
So in years with ocean patterns like the current, about six or seven February to April periods out of ten are expected to be drier than the median in north Queensland, with about three or four out of ten being wetter. This outlook is based on historical relationships between ocean temperature patterns and Australian rainfall.
Outlook confidence is related to how consistently the Pacific and Indian Oceans affect Australian rainfall. During the February to April period, history shows the effect to be moderately consistent through the northern halves of both Queensland and the NT, most of WA, the far west of SA and southeast NSW. Elsewhere the effect is only weakly or very weakly consistent (see background information).
The Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) rose slightly from −3 in November to a value of +1 in December. The approximate SOI for the 30 days ending 21st January was +10.
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 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.
|The following climate meteorologists in the National Climate Centre can be contacted about this outlook: Grant Beard on (03) 9669 4527, David Jones on (03) 9669 4085, Blair Trewin on (03) 9669 4603.|
Regional commentary is available from the Climate and Consultancy Sections in the Bureau's Regional Offices:
THE NEXT ISSUE OF THE SEASONAL OUTLOOK IS EXPECTED BY 21st FEBRUARY 2006