Dry autumn finish for southern Australia – BOM

30 March 2017

The east coast of Queensland has been hit with extreme weather this week, with Tropical Cyclone Debbie crossing the coastline between Ayr and Mackay on Tuesday. More than 1000m of rain was recorded around the Mackay area between Tuesday and Wednesday – where the average for the whole year is 1500-2500mm.

The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) expects damaging winds and heavy rainfall to continue moving across the southeast regions of the state today, and into far northern NSW. Cattle sales at Emerald (today) and Gracemere (tomorrow) in Queensland have been cancelled as a result.

As shown in the map below, the BOM rainfall outlook for April to June, released today, points to below-average rainfall across the southern two-thirds of the mainland – with the exception of the east coast, which has a roughly equal chance of a wetter or drier three months. The Top End and northern Queensland, on the other hand, are likely to receive above-average rainfall for the three month period – albeit during a time of year which is typically drier. 

Source: Bureau of Meteorology 

Looking month-by-month, April is likely to bring higher than average rain to north east NSW and south east Queensland, as well as across northern Australia. Central Australia and south west parts of the country are likely to be drier.

May, however, is likely to be drier than average across most of the country. BOM forecasts a dry finish to autumn across the southern two-thirds of Australia, except for Tasmania. The chance of above average rain across northern Australia is likely to be fairly neutral in May, although north Queensland has a greater probability of a wetter month. 

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