The monthly value of the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) was +4.3 for September and -2.1 for October. According to the SOI Phase system, this places the SOI in a ‘Consistently Near-Zero’ phase.
Based on previous years when the SOI has been in a ‘Consistently Near-Zero’ phase at the end of October, the probability of above-median rainfall for the next three-month period (November to January) is 50 to 60 per cent for much of eastern Queensland and 40 to 50 per cent elsewhere.
Previous years with a ‘Consistently Near-Zero’ SOI phase at the end of October include 1904, 1905, 1907, 1909, 1912, 1918, 1919, 1926, 1927, 1931, 1933, 1936, 1937, 1949, 1954, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1984, 1985, 1990, 1995, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2007 and 2012. The rainfall probabilities stated above are based on the 1900 to 1998 period and do not include 2001, 2003, 2007 and 2012.
When using a climate outlook it should be remembered that the probability, or per cent 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 Department of Science, Information Technology, Innovation and the Arts.
Further seasonal climate outlook information is available at www.bom.gov.au