|NT Seasonal Rainfall Outlook: probabilities for Winter 2007, issued 22nd May 2007|
Neutral outlook for NT three-month rainfall
The Northern Territory outlook for total rainfall during the early to mid-dry season (June to August), shows no strong swings in the odds towards either above-normal or below-normal rainfall. 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% across most of the NT, with 45-50% chances in parts of the east and north (see map). So in years with ocean patterns like the current, about four or five June to August periods out of ten are wetter than average over the NT and five or six out of ten are drier. It should be remembered though, that the northern half of the NT is seasonally dry at this time, and significant falls of rain are uncommon.
Outlook confidence is related to how consistently the Pacific and Indian Oceans affect Australian rainfall. During June to August, history shows this influence to be moderately consistent across much of the Northern Territory (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.
|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 26th JUNE 2007