THE CLIMATE KELPIE BLOG: What is predicted in May?
Many of Australia’s main climate drivers remain in the neutral position and are predicted to stay this way for the remainder of autumn and into early winter. This include the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO), the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) and our shorter-term climate driver the Southern Annular Mode (SAM). There is however some activity in the Indian Ocean with ‘Above Average’ sea surface temperatures outside of the IOD region which may lead to more favourable conditions for rainfall across some parts of Australia.
The Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) is currently over tropical America and is forecast to move towards Africa. When the MJO is in this position ‘Below Average’ rainfall is likely over northern Australia. Note that the MJO is now starting to have less of an influence on Australia’s conditions and more of an impact in the northern hemisphere.
As a result, the overall outlook for May to July is for much of the southern half of mainland Australia to have an increased chance of rainfall being ‘Above Average’ with ‘Below Average’ rainfall likely for western Tasmania, small pockets in south west Western Australia and across northern Australia. In terms of temperatures, minimums are likely to be ‘Above Average’ across Australia and maximums are likely to be ‘Above Average’ for much of Australia, except for parts of Western Australia, South Australia and small pockets in Queensland where there are equal chances of maximum temperatures being ‘Above’ or ‘Below Average’.
In April, rainfall was ‘Below Average’ for most of Australia except for northern Queensland and along the Western Australia coastline where ‘Above Average’ rainfall was recorded (Fig. 1). Despite this, rainfall totals over the last 3 months have been ‘Above Average’ for much of New South Wales, central Australia, parts of Tasmania, the Western Australia coastline and areas in Queensland and the Northern Territory. However, ‘Below Average’ rainfall conditions remain for some regions most notably in south eastern parts of mainland Australia (Fig. 2).
The BoM’s ACCESS model predicts that rainfall in May is likely to be ‘Below Average’, for northern Australia, western Tasmania and pockets in Victoria and south west Western Australia (Fig. 3). The rest of the country has equal chances of rainfall being ‘Above’ or ‘Below Average’ with a slight increased chance of rainfall being ‘Above Average’ for central Western Australia into South Australia as well as along the New South Wales and Victorian coastline (Fig. 3).
For the three-month forecast, May to July, much of the southern half of mainland Australia has an increased chance of rainfall being ‘Above Average’ (Fig. 3). However, western Tasmania, small pockets in south west Western Australia and across northern Australia are likely to experience ‘Below Average’ rainfall (Fig. 3).
At this time of year accuracy for the three-month forecast is moderate to high for most of Australia except for areas of South Australia, small pockets in Victoria and Tasmania as well as along the New South Wales coastline and parts of Queensland where accuracy is low (Fig. 3).
Maximum temperatures in April were ‘Above Average’ for much of Western Australia, the southern half of South Australia, north east Tasmania and across northern Australia (Fig. 4). The rest of Australia was ‘Average’ except for an area on the New South Wales and Queensland border and small pockets in northern Queensland, the Northern Territory and Western Australia where maximum temperatures were ‘Below Average’ (Fig. 4).
Minimum temperatures on the other hand were ‘Below Average’ across northern Western Australia into central Australia as well as much of south east Australia, particularly New South Wales (Fig. 5). All other regions of Australia were ‘Average’ to ‘Above Average’ for minimum temperatures (Fig. 5).
The BoM’s ACCESS model forecast suggests that over the next three months maximum temperatures are likely to be ‘Above Average’ for much of Australia, except for parts of Western Australia, South Australia and small pockets in Queensland where there are equal chances of maximum temperatures being ‘Above’ or ‘Below Average’ (Fig. 6). For minimum temperatures, all of Australia is likely to be ‘Above Average’ for the next three months (Fig. 7).
At this time of year accuracy for the three-month maximum temperature forecast is moderate to high for much of Australia, except along the New South Wales coastline and a band through the Northern Territory where accuracy is low (Fig. 6). For minimum temperatures, accuracy is low for much of south east Australia and the far south west of Western Australia with the rest of Australia having moderate to high accuracy (Fig. 7).
Climate and Water Outlook Videos
The Bureau of Meteorology releases regular outlook videos, covering all this information. Watch the most recent video below.
- Probing the value of soil moisture monitoring
- The good, the bad and the ugly – charting the impact of East coast lows
- New forecasting tools aid Red Witchweed cull
- Western climate drivers take the road less traveled
- Consensus on forecasts informs decision making
- It takes teamwork to tackle the climate challenge
- What do forecasts really mean?
- Finding the window of opportunity with new forecasting products
- What La Niña means for Australia this summer
- Strict attention to moisture conservation drives grain production in the Wimmera
- How to assess your ‘green date’ probability using the CliMate app
- Why the late shift in the winter 2020 rainfall forecasts?
- What goes around – may bring rain to northern Australia
- ‘You got to know when to hold ‘em’ – managing livestock in extended drought
- Climate plan may hold keys to a better deal on farm finance
- Future-proofing the dairy industry in uncertain times
- Where have our winters gone?
- GrassGro puts pasture advisors in the know
- SAM goes up, SAM goes down— southern Australia’s climate gets turned all around
- Visualising the impact of climate drivers in your backyard