Seasonal Climate Outlook Message for February to May 2008

The bottom line

Patchy wet season

62.4 % of Queensland is still drought declared. This contrasts with those areas of the state that are still under Department of Emergency Services Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements due to flooding. A lot of these areas also overlap.

This rather patchy wet season means that while some districts are mopping up after a drenching, others are still looking for their median monthly totals. However the SOI remains strongly positive, and the mature La Nina system look set to remain in place into autumn, so a strong finish to the summer is still possible.

The 30 day average of the SOI has remained positive, and as of the 26th of February was plus 20.1. The outlook for rain remains at a 50 to 70% chance of above median rainfall for most of the state for February to April, based on a 'consistently positive' SOI phase December to January and historical rainfall records.

The outlook for much of Queensland will continue at a 50-70 % chance for above median rainfall for March through May, given the SOI remaining positive over the remainder of February.

Drought declarations and revocations in Queensland are made following recommendations from the local drought committees to the Minister for Primary Industries and Fisheries.

Individually Droughted Property status is granted when criteria related to rainfall, pasture and stock conditions are met. The Drought Declarations are not automatically revoked by floods, but remain in place until officially revoked.

Other information on the current drought situation and available financial assistance, drought planning advice, social, and community counselling services can be found at or through the DPI Call Centre on 132523.

For maps of drought declared regions and seasonal conditions reports go to the Long Paddock internet site

Maximum temperatures are likely to be close to normal throughout north eastern Australia from January to March. The Bureau of Meteorology Seasonal Temperature Outlook indicates that there is a 40 to 50% chance of getting above median maximum temperatures throughout Queensland.

Overnight temperatures may be warmer than normal in the north. The Bureau of Meteorology Seasonal Temperature Outlook indicates that there is a 55 to 70% chance of getting above median minimum temperatures throughout Queensland.

Last updated: 27 February 2008