Seasonal Climate Outlook Message for December 2003 to March 2004

The bottom line

Recent Rain Welcome 08/12/03

The rain received over the last week provided more than welcome relief for many producers across Queensland. Rainfall totals varied throughout the state, however most regions received some useful falls.

After a very dry October and November the big question remains as to whether this general good start to the summer rainfall season will continue. Many producers (and shire councils etc) are looking for well above average summer falls to help replenish water storages, rejuvenate pastures and fill soil water profiles etc after a number of years of below average rainfall totals.

Given the recent rainfall it will be very interesting to see what effect the MJO has when it is next expected in late December. Research has shown that in December the MJO can intensify the monsoon season across northern Australia as well as help trigger cyclones if there are any existing low-pressure systems in the Coral Sea.

The last passage of the MJO influenced our weather over the third week of November. It helped produce some very patchy but useful rainfall totals for those lucky enough to receive them mainly across the southern half of Queensland.

The 30day average of the SOI as of the 8th of December is minus 1.6. Based on the recent pattern of the SOI there remains a reasonable 40-60% chance of getting above the long-term December to February median rainfall across most of Queensland.

Last updated: 7 December 2003