Seasonal Climate Outlook Message for October to January 2000

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SOI MESSAGE - 3rd November 1999

The average SOI over the last 30 days was +10.4 . Based on the SOI, the probabilities of exceeding median rainfall during the total November to January period are quite variable, but remain around 50% in much of the eastern States.

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Review of Climatic Forecasts and Information

Based on the latest values and trends of the SOI, the probabilities of exceeding median rainfall during the total November to January period are quite variable over the eastern half of Australia. They are around 50% over much of this area. The exceptions are parts of central-western Qld, south-western Victoria and Tasmania where probabilities are 60-80%; and near the Qld-NSW border, and in coastal areas and the north-eastern quarter of NSW where they are 10-40%.

Sea-surface temperatures in the Pacific Ocean indicate a very weak La Nina pattern. Most experimental models are now suggesting that neutral conditions will predominate by about April. Temperatures are now mainly normal in waters off Queensland and the Northern Territory.

The Bureau of Meteorology's forecast system, based on sea-surface temperature patterns, is indicating that the probabilities of exceeding median rainfall in eastern Australia during the total November-January period are about 65%. This value has been boosted by temperatures in the Indian Ocean off Western Australia being warmer than normal.

The likelihood of above-median pasture growth in October to December (during a 'neutral' SOI year) varies little from the 'all years' average values. Providing rainfall is at least average over that period, prospects for above-average pasture growth are high in areas where pasture condition is good (i.e. high perennial grass basal cover).

The next passage of the 30- to 50-Day Oscillation is expected in the fourth week of November. For the past few months it has been a very weak phenomenon, only identifiable after it has passed.

It is important to obtain more detailed information for your location. We recommend use of the Australian RAINMAN package and the Bureau of Meteorology's Seasonal Climate Outlook. Also a lot of additional information is available on our FarmFax system, our Internet World Wide Web service called 'The Long Paddock', and on BoM's Fax and internet information services.

Last updated: 27 October 1999