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Monthly climate statement for February 2016

The Department of Science, Information Technology and Innovation’s (DSITI’s) seasonal outlooks for the Queensland summer are based on the state of the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phenomenon prior to summer, and on factors which alter the impact of ENSO on Queensland rainfall (i.e. the more slowly changing extra-tropical sea surface temperature (SST) pattern in the Pacific Ocean). The Science Division of DSITI considers that there is an increased probability of below median rainfall for most of Queensland for January to March. Read more (PDF, 322K, last updated 01:23PM, 12 February 2016)*

Currently:

Summer rainfall outlook (Nov-Mar 2015/16)

DSITI scientists have shown that extra-tropical SST anomalies, when measured in specific regions of the Pacific Ocean in March each year, provide a useful basis for long-lead forecasting of summer (November to March) rainfall in Queensland. The accuracy of this outlook increases as the evolving ENSO-related SST pattern is also taken into account from May through to October. This understanding has been incorporated in an experimental system known as SPOTA-1 (Seasonal Pacific Ocean Temperature Analysis version 1), which has been operationally evaluated by DSITI scientists for over a decade.

As at 1 November 2015, DSITI’s final outlook for summer (November to March 2015/16) indicated a lower than normal probability of exceeding median rainfall for most of Queensland. Conversely, there was a low probability of drought-breaking rainfall, based on the evolving sea surface temperature pattern across the Pacific. Produced on the same basis, the rainfall outlook for January to March 2016 indicates an increased risk of below median rainfall for most of Queensland.

In summary, it should be noted that:

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Last updated 12 February 2016

Seasonal climate outlook