Drier finish to spring in the south – BOM

27 October 2016

After a very wet start to spring across the majority of eastern Australia, the recently released rainfall outlook from the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) paints a very different picture for the November to January period.

Across the country, the chance of above median rainfall for the three-months to January is highest in WA, except for the south west corner of the state. A couple of isolated areas in southeast Queensland are slightly more likely to receive below average rain, while the remainder of the country has a roughly equal chance of a wetter or drier November to January period.

Looking at the outlook month-by-month, the BOM anticipates November to be drier across southern mainland Australia, which will be timely for harvest in many regions. In contrast, the Kimberley in WA has a very high chance of exceeding the median rainfall during the month.

The outlook remains positive for northwest Australia in December. Northeast Queensland, however, has a slightly higher chance for drier end to the year. It’s a fairly neutral forecast for the rest of the country for December.

Day and night time temperatures are anticipated to be warmer than average across eastern Australia and the far west of WA during the November to January period. Cooler than average temperatures are more likely across inland and southern WA.

The BOM outlook is reflective of a weakening negative Indian Ocean Dipole, a neutral El Niño-Southern Oscillation in the tropical Pacific Ocean, and warmer seas around northern Australia.  

In a separate media release by BOM earlier today, the State of the Climate 2016 presents some interesting rainfall facts, among others:

  • In southwest Australia, May to July rainfall has declined around 19% since 1970
  • In southeast Australia, April to October growing season rainfall has reduced approximately 11% since the mid-1990s
  • Rainfall has increased across parts of northern Australia since the 1970s


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