Seasonal Climate Outlook Message for January to April 2007

The bottom line

El Nino pattern less intense. Dave McRae. 16/01/07.

The 30 day average of the SOI as of the 15th January is minus 3.1.

Based on the SOI and historical rainfall records for January through to the end of March there is a 40 to 50% chance of getting median rainfall. This is a marginal improvement in the outlook from much of last year.

Despite recent reports of the breakdown of the El Nino a prolonged period of well above average rainfall is still needed to change the current drought pattern. While the El Nino sea surface temperature (SST) pattern that persisted in the Pacific for much of 2006 has become less intense we think it is too early to make statements that it is all over and that the drought has or will end shortly across eastern Australia.

In terms of the development of climate patterns (such as El Nino and La Nina) late summer and autumn is a key time. We will closely monitor conditions during that period.

Last updated: 15 January 2007