Seasonal Climate Outlook Message for October to January 2012

Commentary on rainfall probabilities based on 'phases' of the SOI

The Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) increased from August (+2.6) to September (+11.1). According to the SOI Phase system, this places the SOI in a ‘Rapidly Rising’ phase.

Based on previous years when the SOI has been in a ‘Rapidly Rising’ phase at the end of September, the probability of above-median rainfall for the next three-month period (October to December) is 50 to 70 per cent for most of Queensland, which is slightly higher than normal (50 percent). 

In assessing this information, it is worth considering other years with a ‘Rapidly Rising’ SOI phase at the end of September. Since 1950, these include: 1970, 1979, 1983, 1989, 2001, 2005 and 2009.

When using a climate forecast it should be remembered that the probability, or percent chance, of something occurring is just that – a probability. For example, if there is a 70 per cent probability of above-median rainfall, then there is also a 30 per cent chance of below-median rainfall. It does not mean that rainfall will be 70 per cent more than the median.

Users are advised not to rely on a single climate outlook alone and should consider the range of climate risk assessment information that is available. In the first instance users in Queensland may wish to consult the monthly climate statement produced by the Queensland Climate Change Centre of Excellence.

Further seasonal climate outlook information is available at (PDF)*.

* Requires Adobe Reader

Last updated: 27 March 2018