Rainfall patterns on knife’s edge


In terms of the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) index, conditions have remained close to neutral throughout July.

Modelling shows neutral conditions are likely to continue in 2008, with most models showing some warming in the coming season, but none suggesting a redevelopment of a La Niña and only a minority predicting a return to El Niño.

And since winter is a period of relatively high predictability, the neutral forecast can be viewed with some confidence.

The Indian Ocean is currently in a positive phase of the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) (which increases the chance of low winter-spring falls in south east Australia), but the index used to measure the IOD, has weakened considerably since its peak in early June, boosting growers’ hopes for reasonable spring rain.

The IOD is forecast to persist but moderate further throughout the rest of the year.

In far western NSW there was a moderate swing towards the chance of below average rain in the coming three months.

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