National rainfall outlook
Issued 24 February 2014
The chances of exceeding the median rainfall during autumn are less than 40% over parts of central and western Queensland and the southeast corner of the NT. In other words, the chances of below average rainfall are at least 60% over these areas. For every ten autumn outlooks with similar odds to these, about three or four of them would result in above-average rainfall over these areas, while about six or seven would be below average.
Conversely, the chance of exceeding the median rainfall is greater than 60% over the western half of WA, and a small area in northeast of the NT.
Over the rest of the country, there is no significant shift in the odds towards either a wetter or drier than normal autumn.
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 that while ENSO-neutral conditions are likely to persist through autumn, some warming of the central Pacific Ocean is likely. While short of El Niño levels, this warming may still have some impacts upon Australian climate
Ocean temperatures surrounding Australia are generally expected to remain close to their 1981-2010 average, though some cooler than average temperatures around northern and north-eastern coasts early in the season may mean a reduction in evaporation in those areas. Atmospheric pressures may be below average over some southern areas in the first half of the season, which may favour drier westerly winds over some parts of eastern Australia.
The Indian Ocean Dipole is typically too weak to have a significant influence on the Australian climate during the autumn period.
How accurate is the outlook?
Outlook accuracy for the autumn period is:
- Moderate over most of eastern and central parts of contintent, including the Top End of the NT, large areas of Queensland, northern and southeastern parts of NSW, western Victoria and Tasmania
- Low over most of the western and interior parts of WA, west-central parts of the NT, southern coastal areas of SA and most of western Tasmania
- Very low over an area near the northern parts of the WA-NT border, southwest coastal regions of SA and small areas of inland and southern coastal WA