The Outlook | Summer rain in a neutral phase

Summer rain in a neutral phase


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There is about a 75 per cent chance that rainfall will exceed normal between now and the end of March in eastern and northern NSW and a 55pc chance elsewhere.

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SOME US models indicate the Pacific basin is now in a weak La Nina, but some indicators such as the Southern Oscillation Index would indicate a neutral pattern is in place. 

Either way the prospects remain good for at least average summer rainfall in most of NSW. 

There is about a 75 per cent chance that rainfall will exceed normal between now and the end of March in eastern and northern NSW and a 55pc chance elsewhere. 

However, as has been the case for some time now this is slightly dependent on occasional rain and storm events so the periods between such events might increase in the coming week. 

Moderately severe storms are likely to be a feature for some weeks, but their effects should decrease after Christmas. 

Positive sea surface temperatures around much of continental Australia will give support to the above mentioned rainfall scenario and will also support the scenario of slightly above average temperatures, but temperatures overall are expected to continue well below those record levels that were experiences earlier in 2016 when an El Nino was in place. 

The longer term outlook trains interesting although a little unclear. 

A neutral pattern in the Pacific is favoured to persist for most of 2017 and as a result at least average rainfall is favoured to continue. 

This means during the coming 12 months so it is likely that there will be some periods of a couple of months with drier weather. 

Above average temperatures are more likely to persist than below average temperatures and as is often the case with long lasting neutral conditions, some brief by extremely variations are always possible. 

On the positive side the majority of models indicate little or no chance of an El Nino returning in the first half of 2017 and there is only one chance in three of it returning by later in 2017

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