Changes to drought declared regions. Dave McRae, Qld Climate Change Centre of Excellence, 16/06/09.
As at 31 May 2009, 35 percent of the land area of Queensland is drought declared under State processes. There are three Individually Droughted Properties (IDPs) in the North Burnett. This is a down from 54 percent of Queensland drought declared as of the end of March. Drought declarations in Queensland are made following recommendations from the local drought committees to the minister. The local drought committees also make the recommendations to the minister for drought declarations to be revoked. This occurs when in their opinion there has been sufficient rainfall to promote enough pasture growth to permit stocking at 'near-normal' carrying capacities for the given time of year. For a full list of drought declared regions and a seasonal conditions report go the Long Paddock internet site www.longpaddock.qld.gov.au
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 or MJO last crossed northern Australia during late May. The next active phase of the MJO is likely to cross northern Australia during early to mid July. The MJO is a band of low air pressure which originates off the east coast of central Africa. It travels eastward across the Indian Ocean and northern Australia roughly every 30 to 60 days. Because of the timing of the MJO the phenomenon is also known as the forty day wave. It can be used as an indicator for the timing of potential rainfall events. The impact of the MJO on rainfall varies between the different seasons and location. For example the MJO has a greater influence on rainfall throughout northern Australia during summer and southern Australia during winter. For more information on the MJO go to www.bom.gov.au
Based on a Rapidly Falling SOI phase at the end of May and historical rainfall records there is a 30 to 50% chance of getting above median rainfall for June to August (or depending on how you like to look at things a 50 to 70% chance of getting below median rainfall) throughout much of the southern third of Queensland as well as along the central and northern coastal strip. Throughout the rest of the state, the chance of getting above the long term June to August median rainfall is generally between 40 to 60%.
The 30day average of the SOI as of the 15th June is minus 8.5. For more information go to www.longpaddock.qld.gov.au