Seasonal Climate Outlook Message for January to April 2006

The bottom line

Climate Watch Dave McRae Qld Dept of Primary Industries and Fisheries 16th January

SST Pattern Interesting

Recent sea surface temperature patterns are especially interesting due to the warmer than normal sea surface temperatures that can be found around Australia's eastern and northern coastline. If this warming trend continues it may have a positive influence on our expected summer rainfall.

According to information from the Bureau of Meteorology "El Niño wrap up" at the key indicators of the SOI, trade winds and sea surface temperatures (SST) confirm the persistence of a neutral sea surface temperature and climate pattern in the Pacific (i.e. no El Niño). This pattern would therefore be unlikely to change before the end of summer.

The annual Australian Climate Summary for 2005 is available at and given the recent press coverage on climate change makes great reading.

For example: 2005 was the warmest year in Australia since widespread reliable temperature observations became available in 1910; since 1979 all but 4 years have been warmer than average in Australia; January to March 2005 was the 2nd driest on record across Australia; globally 2005 was amongst the 4th warmest years since records commenced in 1861 etc. This data is another sign that our climate can change and is influenced by not only natural variability but also by an enhanced greenhouse gas effect.

As of Monday the 16th January the 30day average of the SOI was plus 4.8. Daily updates on the SOI are available on (07) 46881439. The latest rainfall probability maps are at or For more information on rainfall probabilities at your specific location refer to Rainman StreamFlow or contact the DPI&F Call Centre on 132523.

Last updated: 15 January 2006