19 August 2008
August dry after a wet July
August has been dry across Queensland, with most areas recording no rainfall to date, after a reasonably wet July. The SOI has remained steady near zero, and the thirty day average as of 19th August was plus 0.4. The outlook based on the Consistently Near Zero July SOI and historical rainfall records continues indicates a 30 to 50 % chance of receiving median rainfall August through October.
In terms of median rainfall although Queensland is in its dry season most areas could still expect some rainfall. For example, at Dalby the median August to October rainfall is 117 mm and there is a 53 % chance of exceeding that amount. At Emerald the median August to October rainfall is 74 mm, and there is a 44% chance of exceeding that amount. At Longreach the median August to October rainfall is 32 mm, and there is a 45% chance of exceeding that amount. For more information on probabilities, or to explore median rainfall figures try Rainman Streamflow available from the DPI&F on 13 23 25.
According to the Bureau of Meteorology we can look forward to warmer days and nights. There is a 65 to 80 % chance of exceeding median maximum daytime temperatures over most of the state from August to October. The exception is northern and eastern Cape York, which can expect average day and overnight temperatures.
It remains to be seen, with most areas experiencing fairly cold temperatures so far this August, whether August to October will fall into the 2 to 3.5 years out of every ten that are colder than normal, given the ocean conditions. For more information about the Bureau of Meteorology's climate outlook go to their climate page at www.bom.gov.au/climate and then go to the temperature outlook.
If you are interested in the risk of frost as we move into the spring planting window the Bureau of Meteorology also calculates daily frost potential simply go to the Bureau site and search for "frost" or go straight to www.bom.gov.au/jsp/watl/weather/frost.jsp
54.3 % of Queensland is still drought declared. Drought declarations and revocations in Queensland are made following recommendations from the local drought committees to the Minister for Primary Industries and Fisheries.
Individually Droughted Property status is granted when criteria related to rainfall, pasture and stock conditions are met. The Drought Declarations are not automatically revoked by floods, but remain in place until officially revoked.
Other information on the current drought situation and available financial assistance, drought planning advice, social, and community counselling services can be found at www.dpi.qld.gov.au/drought or through the DPI Call Centre on 132523.
The Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) effects Australian rainfall differently in winter and spring to summer, but does still influence our rain. In Queensland in spring the MJO is associated with dry conditions during Phases 1 and 2, and wetter conditions during Phases 6 and 7.
The MJO is a band of low air pressure originating off the east coast of central Africa travelling eastward across the Indian Ocean and northern Australia roughly every 30 to 60 days.