Seasonal Climate Outlook Message for December 2008 to March 2009

The bottom line

Drought declarations remain stable.

Dave McRae, Qld Climate Change Centre of Excellence, 16/12/08.

Drought declarations remain stable with 54.3 percent of the land area of Queensland drought declared under state government processes as at the 16 December 2008. There are also 9 Individually Droughted Properties (IDPs) in a further three areas.

Drought declarations in Queensland are made following recommendations from the local drought committees to the minister. The local drought committees also make the recommendations to the minister for drought declarations to be revoked. This occurs when in their opinion there has been sufficient rainfall to promote enough pasture growth to permit stocking at 'near-normal' carrying capacities for the given time of year.

There will be a review of the drought declaration status of all regional councils/shires at the end of the summer rainfall season. For a full list of drought declared shires and a seasonal conditions report go the Long Paddock internet site

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.

The Bureau of Meteorology has recently released the spring seasonal climate summary for Queensland. A highlight was the average to above average spring rainfall experienced throughout most of Queensland. The exception to this was for the Burnett, the west coast of Cape York and the Mackay to Bowen coastal strip.

Throughout Queensland during spring both maximum and minimum temperatures maintained a similar trend being 1 to 2 degrees above the long term median. For more information on climate summaries go to

In the mean time the 30 day average of the SOI as of the 16th December is plus 13.3. You can receive a text message with the latest SOI values sent to your mobile phone. To subscribe to this free service, call (07) 4688 1459.

Based on monthly SOI values of plus 14.2 for October and plus 17.4 for November, the SOI is in a Consistently Positive phase.

An analysis of historical rainfall records and a Consistently Positive SOI phase at the end of November indicate a reasonable 60 to 80% chance of getting above median rainfall during December through to the end of February throughout the eastern third of Queensland, east of a line running from the bottom of the Gulf of Carpentaria through to the central Darling Downs.

There is a 40 to 60% chance of getting above median rainfall for December to February throughout the rest of the state.

Last updated: 15 December 2008