Seasonal Climate Outlook Message for October to January 2003

The bottom line

Outlook is for hot dry conditions (Dated 09/10/02)

The current outlook highlights the increased likelihood of continuing hot and dry conditions for most of eastern Australia for October to December. This is unfortunately not great news for those regions and industries looking for an early start to the critical late spring/summer storm season.

Currently there is a low 20-40% chance of getting of above median rainfall for the next 3 months for most of Queensland. However, for southern and far western Queensland marginally higher probabilities (40-50%) indicate the potential for some relief rainfall.

Similar to Queensland, the chance of getting median rainfall for most of Victoria, central and southern NSW is low at 20-40% for the next 3 months. For the rest of NSW the chance of getting median rainfall over October to December is higher at 40-50%.

To compound the potential problems raised by the current seasonal outlook, the recent pattern of the SOI indicates a high likelihood (70-80%) of above normal maximum temperatures for October to December across most of Queensland. These above average temperature probabilities extend across most of eastern Australia.

An El Nino sea surface temperature continues to persist in the Pacific Ocean. Based on previous El Nino events and current ocean and atmospheric conditions, it is likely that this pattern will not break down until Autumn 2003. It is worth remembering that an El Nino does not mean there will be no rainfall at all. Subtle changes in the SOI or in sea-surface temperatures in the Pacific or Indian Oceans can often mean some 'relief' rain can be received.

The 30day average of the SOI has fallen slightly since the start of the month and as of the 9th October is -10.7.

Last updated: 8 October 2002