|Qld Seasonal Rainfall Outlook: probabilities for February to April 2007, issued 23rd January 2007|
Drier season more likely in north Queensland
The outlook for total February to April rainfall, shows that below average falls are more likely over the northern half of Queensland. The pattern of seasonal rainfall odds across the State is a result of higher than average temperatures in the Pacific Ocean (because of El Niño).
The chances of exceeding the median rainfall for the February to April period, are below 40% in the northern half of Queensland, dropping to below 25% in the region near Hughenden. This means that BELOW median falls have about a 60 to 75% 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 average in this part of Queensland, with about three or four out of ten being wetter.
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 across the northern half of Queensland, whereas in the south of the State it is only weakly or very weakly consistent (see background information).
December was the second successive month when the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) was only slightly negative, with a monthly value of −3 following the −1 in November. A link to 30-day SOI values is available in the ENSO Wrap-Up (see next paragraph).
The neutral SOI is one of a few indicators which show that the current Pacific El Niño pattern is beginning to weaken. 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 Brisbane Office: (07) 3239 8660.|
THE NEXT ISSUE OF THE SEASONAL OUTLOOK IS EXPECTED BY 22nd FEBRUARY 2007