|NT Seasonal Rainfall Outlook: probabilities for May to July 2006, issued 21st April 2006|
50:50 chances for above average three-month rainfall
The current three-month rainfall odds do not strongly favour either wetter or drier than average conditions. Therefore, the chances of accumulating at least median rain during the first three months of the northern dry season (May-July) are close to 50% across the Northern Territory, the Bureau of Meteorology announced today.
The outlooks are based on relationships between Pacific and Indian Ocean temperatures and Australian rainfall. Recent ocean temperatures have not been sufficiently warmer or cooler than average to produce a strong bias in rainfall outlook odds.
For the May to July period, the chances of above median rainfall are between 45 and 50% across the NT (see map). However, with the exception of the Arnhem district, the north of the NT is seasonally dry during this particular three month period and heavy rain is uncommon.
So in years with ocean patterns like the current, about five May to July periods out of ten are expected to be drier than the median over the NT, with about five out of ten being wetter.
Outlook confidence is related to how consistently the Pacific and Indian Oceans affect Australian rainfall. During the May-July period, history shows this effect to be moderately consistent across most of the central Northern Territory (see background information).
The Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) has continued to fluctuate with a value of +14 in March following the reading of zero in February. The approximate SOI for the 30 days ending 17th April was +19. For more information on the SOI and the current status of ENSO, please 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 (CST) Monday to Friday by contacting the Climate and Consultancy section in the Bureau's Darwin Office: (08) 8920 3813.|
THE NEXT ISSUE OF THE SEASONAL OUTLOOK IS EXPECTED BY 25th MAY 2006