THE CLIMATE KELPIE BLOG: What’s predicted in March

Posted by BCG on 4th March 2019

The BoM kept its ENSO Outlook status on El Niño WATCH which means there is still a 50 per cent chance of an El Niño forming.

The Indian Ocean Dipole if forecasted to remain neutral through Autumn.

Historically, now is the traditional time for climate drivers like the El Niño Southern Oscillation and the Indian Ocean Dipole to reset for the coming season, therefore skill of the model at this time of the year is lower.

Rainfall Roundup

February was very dry for much of the country with large areas highlighted in red in Figure 1. showing below average to lowest-on-record rainfall for the month. Some areas in Queensland did however receive highest-on-record totals for the month.


Figure 1. Rainfall deciles for February 2019.

The last three-month deciles in Figure 2. show that significant falls in December for some areas have increased the overall three-month decile, showing the difference a significant rain event can have.

Figure 2. Rainfall deciles for December 2018 to February 2019.

Rainfall Forecast

From the BoM’s ACCESS model, large expanses of Australia are expected to receive below-average rainfall for March to May 2019. Western Australia and select areas in South Australia and the Northern Territory are the only areas expected to receive average to above-average rainfall.


Figure 3. Australian outlook for March to May 2019.

Temperature Roundup

For the majority of Australia, maximum temperatures have been average to highest-on-record, except for areas in central Queensland and areas along the coast of Western Australia.


Figure 4. Maximum temperature deciles for February 2019.

Figure 5. Minimum temperature deciles for February 2019.

Temperature Forecast

The BoM’s ACCESS model forecasts suggest the whole country will experience above average maximum temperatures over the next three months.

Figure 6. March to May maximum temperature outlook.

Minimum temperatures are also forecast to be average to above average over the next three months.

Figure 7. March to May minimum temperature outlook.

Climate and Water Outlook Videos

The Bureau of Meteorology releases regular outlook videos, covering all this information. Watch the most recent video below.