THE CLIMATE KELPIE BLOG: What’s predicted in May

Posted by BCG on 2nd May 2019

The BoM climate model points towards the possible formation of an El Niño over the coming months. El Niño typically results in below average winter-spring rainfall across the Eastern States.

Forecasts also suggest that the Indian Ocean Dipole is likely to remain neutral through Autumn, indicating that it will have little influence on climate conditions.

Rainfall Roundup

March saw areas of Queensland, Eastern New South Wales and some locations across Western Australia receive ‘Average’ to ‘Above Average’ rainfall for the month. While this was an improvement on the very dry conditions experienced in February there are still areas, across the centre of Australia, the larger part of Victoria and much of South Australia that continue to experience ‘Below Average’, ‘Very Much Below Average’ and ‘Lowest on Record Conditions’.

Figure 1. Rainfall deciles for April 2019.

Significant rainfalls in March, across these the Eastern seaboard and the centre of Queensland, increased the overall three-month decile for these areas, demonstrating the challenge that forecasters face at this time of year and highlighting the care that needs to be taken when making decisions based on seasonal averages.

Figure 2. Rainfall deciles for February to April 2019.

Rainfall Forecast

The BoM’s ACCESS model provides contrasting outlooks for May and June, with an indication towards a dry May for much of eastern Australia, while the June outlook is closer to average conditions. It should be noted that many climate models at this time traditionally have lower skill as the climate drivers reset for the coming season. The ACCESS model has generally moderate skill over Australia for this time.

Figure 3. Australian outlook for May to July 2019.

Temperature Roundup

Maximum temperatures were ‘Average’ to Highest-on-Record’ across most of Australia, except for a central Queensland. While minimum temperatures were ‘Average’ to ‘Highest on Record’ except the south west coastal tip around Perth.

Figure 4. Maximum temperature deciles for April 2019.

Figure 5. Minimum temperature deciles for April 2019.

Temperature Forecast

The BoM’s ACCESS model forecasts suggest ‘Above Average’ maximum temperatures across the majority of the country over the next three months, with only the southern coast of Western Australia around Esperance indicating average maximum temperatures.

Figure 6. May to July maximum temperature outlook.

Minimum temperatures are forecast to be ‘Average’ to ‘Above Average’ over the next three months. The ACCESS model level of skill at this time of year is low for the majority of southern Australia.

Figure 7. May to July 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.