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ARTICLES >> Environment Weather Watch

Weather Watch- June

Posted by Bestprac on Jun 06 2013

by Susan Carn (Hawker/Blinman Bestprac Group)
To paraphrase a fashion term, patchy is the new black! May had some good rain events across SA, but you had to be under them! For example, at home we got 14mm in the gauge, while 10kms away on our leased block we got 20mm. This block had scored more in a previous rainfall as well, so consequently Ben is sowing some crop there, rather than on our home paddocks.

On our grazing land it’s been a similar story, with some blocks having a germination and others not. An interesting webpage to have a look at is the AussieGRASS section of Queenslands’s Longpaddock. There you’ll find rainfall and pasture growth maps for all states.

Recently the Bureau of Meteorology released their latest seasonal outlook for June to August, this time using POAMA (Predictive Ocean Atmosphere Model for Australia) instead of the statistical model. This will be more accurate than ever before as it uses ocean, atmospheric, ice and land data observations to create the outlooks. POAMA is a shift away from traditional weather forecasting models, which rely heavily on historical statistics, and is the product of years of research by BOM and CSIRO Marine Research Click here to access.

A wetter than normal season is more likely for large parts of northern and eastern mainland Australia, however the BOM also provide an accuracy map to be used in conjunction with their outlooks. Outlook confidence is related to how consistently the oceans and broadscale climate affect Australian rainfall. During June to August, model accuracy shows the outlook to be moderately consistent over NSW and Tasmania, but weakly to very weakly consistent in Victoria and SA.  Therefore, it should be used with caution.

Chance of exceeding median rainfallRainfall map

More products from POAMA are expected to become available for public use later in the year. These may include forecasts for the next fortnight and three weeks ahead, which will be very useful indeed.

Two of Australia’s climate drivers can be fairly accurately forecasted 8 months ahead. These are the ENSO (El Nino Southern Oscillation), in the Pacific Ocean, and the IOD (Indian Ocean Dipole), in the Indian Ocean. The Southern Oscillation index is expected to stay neutral, which means no strong swings, either way, towards an El Nino or a La Nina. The IOD is neutral, at the moment, but expected to go weakly negative this month, then back to neutral by mid October. A negative IOD during winter-spring increases the chances of above-normal rainfall over southern Australia.

I’ll be keeping an eye on another climate driver this month too. The MJO (Madden-Julian Oscillation) is expected to be in a favourable position to enhance rainfall about the third week of June.

I’ve been part of the Climate Champion Program for the last three years, and I’m pleased to say that funding has been extended for another three. You can learn more about the CCP via a YouTube video, plus there are links to videos of other Climate Champion Program participants.                                                   

 

 

Last changed: Jun 07 2013

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