|NT Seasonal Rainfall Outlook: probabilities for January to March 2007, issued 20th December 2006|
Neutral rainfall outlook for heart of northern wet season
Three-month rainfall odds for the heart of the northern wet season (January to March) do not strongly favour either wetter or drier than average conditions across the Northern Territory, the Bureau of Meteorology announced today. The pattern of three-month rainfall odds across the NT is a result of higher than average temperatures in the Pacific Ocean (because of El Niño) and Indian Ocean.
The chances of exceeding the median rainfall for the January to March period, are mainly between 45 and 50% across the Territory. So in years with ocean patterns like the current, about five January to March periods out of ten are expected to be drier than average 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 March quarter, history shows the effect to be moderately consistent through large parts of the NT, especially the southern half, but with scattered areas where the effect is only weakly or very weakly consistent (see background information).
The Southern Oscillation Index (SOI), negative for the seventh straight month as a result of the El Niño, rose from −15 in October to −1 in November. The approximate SOI for the 30 days ending 17th December was −4.
The current Pacific El Niño pattern, of which the low SOI is but one indicator, is expected to persist for most of the summer. 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, please see the ENSO Wrap-Up.
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|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 23rd JANUARY 2007