Seasonal Climate Outlook Message for February to May 2002

The bottom line

Mixed outlook continues. (Dated 13/02/02)

The recent pattern of the SOI continues to give a mixed outlook across much of Australia for the next few months.

In Queensland, the probability of above median rainfall for February to April is relatively positive (50-70%) for the strip running from Burke shire in the north west of the state to the western side of Murweh shire. However, despite the rise in monthly SOI values over December to January, the probability of above median rainfall for February to April remains low (30-50%) for the far south west and most of the eastern half of the state. This area includes most of the north, central, south and south east of the state.

Rainfall probabilities for a large part of eastern Australia also remain low. Regions that currently have low probabilities of getting above the long term February to April median rainfall include most of western, central and southern NSW, most of Victoria, south east SA and parts of south west WA.

However probabilities of above median February to April rainfall are higher in north west WA, northern SA and northern NT. For most of the rest these states there is currently no strong signal either way based on the SOI as to the next 3 months being excessively wet or dry.

The Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) has risen from -11.2 at the end of December to +6.3 as of the 13th February. Based on the shift in the value of the SOI over December/January, the SOI is now in a 'Rapidly Rising' phase. This shift in value continues the roller coaster ride the SOI has been on for most of the last 10-12 months.

This section will be next updated on the 20/02/02.

Last updated: 12 February 2002