National rainfall outlook: Drier season predicted

Beef Central, 23/10/2013

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The national rainfall outlook map for November to January.The Bureau of Meteorology is forecasting drier than average conditions for most of northern Australia from November to January.

Shades of blue or green denoting higher chances of rain have all but disappeared from the Bureau’s latest three-month national rainfall outlook map issued this morning, replaced with telltale tones of yellow and brown to denote a decidedly drier shift in the overall forecast.

The outlook roughly divides Australia in two, with most of the northern half now facing a 60-70pc chance of below average rainfall from November to January, and the southern half estimated to have a roughly 50pc chance of receiving higher or lower than average rainfall.

More specifically, most of Queensland, most of the Northern Territory, northeast South Australia and northern New South Wales are considered to have a 30-40pc chance of receiving higher than average rainfall.

In other words, for every ten November to January 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.

The Bureau says the tropical Pacific has remained ENSO-neutral since mid-2012, and are likely to remain neutral at least for the remainder of the spring and summer.

The Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) is also neutral, and is expected to remain so for the next month.
“With the main climate influences likely to remain neutral (and hence have lesser impact upon Australia), secondary influences, such as warmer-than-normal sea surface temperatures around Australia are tending to drive the Australian climate patterns,” the outlook states.

The likelihood of hotter temperatures has also been highlighted in the forecast.

The chances of the November to January maximum temperature exceeding the long-term median maximum temperature are greater than 60pc over most of Australia, except for the southwest of WA where they are just above 50pc.

Odds increase to greater than 80pc over western Queensland.

The chances that the average minimum temperature for the November to January period will exceed the long-term median are greater than 60pc over most of Australia, except for the southwest. Probabilities rise to greater than 80pc over western Queensland and parts of the Top End of the NT.

Click on maps below to view in larger format


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