MOST current climate indicators still point to the fact that above average rainfall is more likely for the rest of the year than below average rainfall in eastern Australia.
This does not mean that every month will be wetter than normal.
Some extended dry spells are likely and for much of NSW and Queensland, a dry spell has dominated in June.
The synoptic weather patterns can stagnate at times and for the first half of June the stagnation meant that cold Southern Ocean air was swept north east from south of Adelaide by a series of cold changes.
This pattern is currently breaking down but the influence of a lingering La Nina at this time has been kept a bay. That said, overall changes in the major climate indicators remain minimal.
As previously mentioned, the trend in the Indian Ocean Dipole will be the most important indicator in the coming months. Although slightly negative now, most of the international models that look at the Indian Ocean expect the IOD to be negative for the rest of winter and into spring.
A negative IOD increases the chance of north west cloud bands moving across continental Australia in the middle and upper levels of the atmosphere, providing some moisture that the Southern Ocean fronts that are typical of the winter months can activitate.
In most (but not all) years with a negative IOD, winter rainfall in south east Australia and southern Queensland exceeded average and at the moment there is no reason to believe that this year will be any different.
As usual, however, the unexpected can always occur - it is just not the favoured scenario.
The current extended La Nina event is slowly weakening in the tropical Pacific, with many climate models indicating a return to neutral ENSO during the latter part of winter.
Some models continue La Nina conditions through into spring and pose an interesting question - namely, is there the possibility of a third consecutive La Nina summer?
Indications for this are unlikely to become clearer before the end of winter.
The Southern Annular Mode, which is the least predictable indicator, has been neutral to marginally negative recently and it is favoured to become slightly positive again shortly.
This will reduce rainfall potential in the south and over Tasmania and increase it again along the east coast.
Sea surface temperatures remain up on normal around much of continental Australia and on its own this feature can encourage more rain in areas especially as onshore winds have the potential to pick up more moisture, flowing over warmer waters.
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