National rainfall outlook

Issued 22 January 2014

No strong shift in the odds for Australia

Text commentary of chance of increased rainfall

Summary

  • The chances of a wetter or drier than normal season are roughly equal over Australia
  • Most climate influences are near average, including a neutral tropical Pacific
  • Outlook accuracy is low to moderate over most of Australia, except for areas near the WA/NT border and southeast Queensland, where the accuracy is very low.
Probability of exceeding median rainfall, large image

Details

For the February to April period, the chances of exceeding the median rainfall ranges from 40 to 60% over much of the continent. This means that there is not a strong tendency for either a wetter or drier February to April period for most locations.

Compared to the outlook issed last month (for the January to March period), the February to April outlook shows an improvement in odds (i.e., a reduced chance of below average rainfall) over the drought affected Queensland regions and northern NSW.

Climate influences

The El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) remains neutral, with the majority of atmospheric and oceanic indicators close to their long-term average. Dynamical models surveyed by the Bureau suggest ENSO-neutral conditions are likely to persist at least for the next three months.

Oceans surrounding Australia are generally expected to remain close to their 1981-2010 average. Atmospheric pressures may be below average over some southern areas.

The Indian Ocean Dipole is typically too weak to have a significant influence on the Australian climate during the months from December to April.

How accurate is the outlook?

Outlook accuracy for the February to April period is:

  • Moderate over most of western and northern WA, the south and Top End of the NT, SA, large areas of Queensland, northeast NSW, western Victoria and Tasmania
  • Low over most of the eastern interior of WA and parts of the western coastline, the west central NT, western and southeast Queensland, western and southern NSW, and eastern Victoria
  • Very low over an area near the WA-NT border, and southeast Queensland