Seasonal Climate Outlook Message for March to June 2002

The bottom line

Rainfall probabilities for south east Qld remain low. (Dated 13/3/02)

Based on the recent pattern of the SOI, the probability of above median rainfall for March to May remains low across much of southern and south eastern Queensland.

For the region bordered by Miriam Vale, Taroom, Jondaryan and Boonah there is only a 30-40% chance of getting above the long term March to May median rainfall. For the rest of southern and south eastern Queensland, relatively low rainfall probabilities of only 40-50% exist.

However probabilities across the northern half of the state have lifted and are between 50-80% depending on location.

The 30day average of the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) has dropped from+7.1 at the start of the month and as of the 13/3/02 is +2.5.

Many of the patterns associated with a developing El Niño event continue to intensify. As we are closely concerned about these on-going developments we will closely monitor the situation and provide updated information regularly.

The 30-50 day oscillation is expected in the last 2 weeks of March. It is important to remember that while it is a tropical phenomenon it also appears to influence the potential timing of rainfall events across central and southern Queensland (rather than the actual amount of rain).

Last updated: 12 March 2002