|National Seasonal Rainfall Outlook: probabilities for Winter 2007, issued 22nd May 2007|
50:50 chances for above average winter rainfall
The national outlook for total winter rainfall (June to August), shows no strong swings in the odds towards either above-normal or below-normal rainfall. Over Australia the chances of accumulating at least average rain for winter are relatively close to 50%.
The pattern of seasonal rainfall odds across Australia is a result of recent higher than average temperatures (although with a cooling trend) in the tropical Pacific Ocean, and also in parts of the tropical and sub-tropical Indian Ocean. If, as computer models predict, the Pacific cools to such an extent that a La Niña forms during the next few months, subsequent issues of the seasonal rainfall outlook are likely to show increased chances of above average rainfall over eastern and northern Australia.
The chances of exceeding the median rainfall for the June to August period are between 40 and 45% in a band stretching from the NT across the centre and south of the continent to Tasmania (see map). In other parts, the chances are between 45 and 55%. So in years with ocean patterns like the current, about five winters out of ten are wetter than average and five out of ten are drier.
Outlook confidence is related to how consistently the Pacific and Indian Oceans affect Australian rainfall. During winter, history shows this influence to be moderately consistent across much of Queensland, the NT, NSW and Victoria, but generally weakly consistent elsewhere across the country, reaching moderate only in patches (see background information).
The Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) remained neutral in April with a value of −3 following the −1 in March. The approximate 30-day value as at 19th May was −2.
A large body of cool subsurface water persists in the central to eastern Pacific, thereby raising the potential for a La Niña to develop in 2007. Furthermore, computer models are predicting a La Niña to develop during winter. For routine updates and comprehensive discussion on any developments 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.
|The following climate meteorologists in the National Climate Centre can be contacted about this outlook: Grant Beard on (03) 9669 4527, Andrew Watkins on (03) 9669 4360, David Jones on (03) 9669 4085.|
Regional commentary is available from the Climate Services Centres in the Bureau's Regional Offices:
THE NEXT ISSUE OF THE SEASONAL OUTLOOK IS EXPECTED BY 26th JUNE 2007