Positive outlook for southern Australia – BOM

28 January 2016

The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) has released a very positive rainfall outlook for southern Australia for the February to April period. Rainfall is likely to be ‘above average’ across most of the southern half of the country, with the strongest chances in the south east.

Southern and central Queensland has a 55-65% probability of a ‘wetter than average’ three months, while the northern regions of the state are likely to experience drier conditions. All of NSW has a higher chance of ‘above-average’ rainfall, with the probability increasing further in the inland regions. The outlook indicates much-needed rainfall is likely across Victoria – particularly in the western half – with many areas suffering from ongoing dry conditions. SA and Tasmania have a 60-75% chance of exceeding the median rainfall over the coming three months.

The probability of above-average rainfall is slightly lower across WA, compared to eastern Australia, although most of the southern half of the state still has a 60% chance of a ‘wetter than average’ February to April – but with the strongest likelihood in March.

For WA’s Pilbara and the northwest coastline, however, rainfall is likely to be ‘below-average’, and the tropical north only has a 25-30% chance of exceeding the median rainfall over the three-month period.

The outlook reflects a combination of several factors; the El Niño in decline, record warm Indian Ocean temperatures, and warm localised sea surface temperatures.

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