The Department of Environment and Science’s (DES) Climate Variability Unit (CVU)  produces a monthly climate statement which interprets seasonal climate outlook information for Queensland. The monthly climate statement is based on the on the DES CVU’s own information and also draws on information from national and international climate agencies.

The DES CVU assessment  of rainfall probabilities is based on the current state of the ocean and atmosphere and its similarity with previous years. In particular the CVU monitors the current and projected state of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) referring to information such as  sea-surface temperature (SST) anomaly maps and the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI). Based on this information, the CVU uses two systems to calculate rainfall probabilities for Queensland:

  • SOI-Phase system produces seasonal rainfall probabilities based on ‘phases’ of the Southern Oscillation Index.
  • the  CVU  experimental  SPOTA-1 (Seasonal Pacific Ocean Temperature Analysis - version 1) monitors Pacific Ocean SSTs from March to October each year to provide long-lead ‘outlooks’ for Queensland summer (November to March) rainfall.

Outlooks based on both the SOI-Phase system and SPOTA-1 are available, although a password is required to access the experimental SPOTA-1 information (email longpaddock@qld.gov.au).

Independent providers (* ) and international research institutions (**) are listed as information sources. No warranty or endorsement is implied by the Department of Environment and Science. Some clients find useful supplementary and comparative information in these services.

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) is Australia’s national weather and climate services provider.

Last updated: 11 February 2019