Climate Watch Dave McRae Qld DPI&F 19/06/06 The output from ocean/atmosphere forecast models continues to indicate a neutral sea surface temperature (SST) pattern in the central Pacific (rather than an El Nino or La Nina). However there has been some warming of both surface and sub-surface ocean temperatures in the key regions of the central Pacific during May. If this warming trend in the central Pacific where to continue it may adversely affect winter, spring and early summer rainfall. Our recommendation therefore is to monitor SST trends over the next few weeks. For more on conditions in the Pacific try the Bureau of Meteorology at www.bom.gov.au/climate/ For those interested in the recent media coverage about cloud seeding there is an interesting report from CSIRO at www.cmar.csiro.au/e-print/open/cloud.htm In the mean time the 30 day average of the SOI remains in negative values and is minus 8.1 as of Tuesday the 20th June. If the SOI remains in consistently negative values through to the end of June the chance of getting above median rainfall will reduce further. For June to August there is a 20 to 40% chance of getting above median rainfall (or depending on how you like to look at things a 60 to 80% chance of getting below median rainfall) throughout most of southern inland Queensland as well as along the central and northern coastal strip. Generally the chance of getting above the long term June to August median rainfall for the rest of Queensland is between 40 to 60%. A Falling SOI phase at this time of year also increases the chance of getting below median minimum temperatures during June to August for Queensland. This does not mean there will be no rainfall in those areas with low probabilities, all it means is that rainfall for June to August will more likely be below median than above median.