|Tas Seasonal Rainfall Outlook: probabilities for January to March 2007, issued 20th December 2006|
Neutral outlook for Tasmanian March quarter rainfall
Seasonal rainfall odds for the March quarter (January to March) do not strongly favour either wetter or drier than average conditions across Tasmania, the Bureau of Meteorology announced today. The pattern of seasonal rainfall odds across Tasmania is mostly a result of higher than average temperatures in the Pacific Ocean (because of El Niño).
The chances of exceeding the median rainfall for the January to March period, are between 55 and 60% across Tasmania. So in years with ocean patterns like the current, about five or six March quarters out of ten are expected to be wetter than average over the State, with about four or five out of ten being drier.
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 in the southwest corner of Tasmania, but mainly weakly consistent elsewhere (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 (EST) Monday to Friday by contacting the Climate and Consultancy section in the Bureau's Hobart Office: (03) 6221 2043.|
THE NEXT ISSUE OF THE SEASONAL OUTLOOK IS EXPECTED BY 23rd JANUARY 2007