Climate Watch 26th July 2005
The number of drought declared shires in Queensland has remained steady over the last few weeks. As of the 8th July there were 61 shires and 7-part shires drought declared under State government drought processes. This is approximately 60.6% of the land area of the State. There are also 103 Individually Droughted Properties (IDPs) in a further 17 shires. A full list of drought declared shires in Queensland is available at www.longpaddock.qld.gov.au/
Information regarding drought declarations can also be obtained from your local DPI&F stock inspector or the Rural Risk Strategies Unit. This unit is responsible for the payment of drought freight subsides, processing recommendations for Shire/Area drought declarations, developing applications for Exceptional Circumstances assistance from the Federal Government and advising the Minister on seasonal conditions. For more information go to www.dpi.qld.gov.au/drought or contact the DPI&F Call Centre on 132523.
The 30-day average of the SOI has remained relatively stable and was plus 3.0 as of Tuesday the 26th July. Based on the rise in SOI monthly values from May (-11.7) to June (+0.5) most of Queensland has at least a 60 to 70% chance getting median rainfall for July through to the end of September.
Lower probabilities (less than 40 to 50%) of above median rainfall for July to September however can be found in western Tasmania, much of Western Australia and for north-eastern parts of the Northern Territory. For the rest of Australia there is generally above a 50 to 60% chance of getting above median rainfall for July to September.
It is worth noting that for northern half of Australia, August and September have historically been drier months.
Currently the MJO has low amplitude and is somewhat hard to discern. This is due to the strong monsoon activity over India and SE Asia especially with the recent typhoon activity. It is also the time of year when it has less influence on our region.
The MJO is a band of low air pressure originating off the east coast of central Africa travelling eastward across the Indian Ocean and northern Australia roughly every 30 to 60 days. Research has shown the MJO to be a useful indicator of the timing of potential rainfall events (but not amounts) across much of Queensland. For more information on the MJO including its location try www.apsru.gov.au/mjo/ or try www.bom.gov.au/climate/tropnote/tropnote.shtml
For more information call the DPI Call Centre on 13 25 23 or (07) 3404 6999.