Seasonal Climate Outlook

Summary

The Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia’s Statistical Seasonal Forecast (SSF) system is indicating a neutral rainfall outlook for the majority of the wheatbelt for January to March 2017.

  • The SSF is generally indicating a close to equal chance of a wetter or drier summer, with 40-60% chance of receiving above median rainfall. For parts of the northern, central and southern wheatbelt, chances of receiving above median rainfall is lower at 20-40%. Chances are higher (60-80% chance of receiving above median) for Yilgarn shire and northern part of the Esperance shire. Predictive skill based on December conditions is poor to good (50-75% consistent).
  • The Bureau of Meteorology’s current seasonal outlook indicates that SWWA and the southern wheatbelt have close to equal chances of a wetter or drier January to March 2017, with 45-60% chance of exceeding the median rainfall. Predictive skill is poor to good (45-75% consistent).
  • Temperature outlooks from the Bureau indicate a 40-55% (neutral) chance of above normal day-time maxima and 35-55% chance of above normal night-time minima across the region for the January to March period (poor to moderate skill, 45-65% consistent).
  • Rainfall in December was average to above average in much of the South-West Land Division. For SWWA maximum temperatures were near average in December, whilst minimum temperatures were below average to average.

Three month outlook for the south-west of Western Australia

Statistical Seasonal Forecasting (SSF)

DAFWA’s Statistical Seasonal Forecast (SSF) system uses historical relationships between global sea surface temperature and sea level pressure with rainfall in south-west Australia to produce forecasts of rainfall for the coming months. Users can click on any station indicated on the map for location-specific forecast information from the Seasonal Climate Information page.

The SSF forecast for January to March 2017 is indicating a 40-60% chance of receiving above median rainfall for the majority of the south west and wheatbelt. For parts of the northern, central and southern wheatbelt, chances of receiving above median rainfall is lower at 20-40%. Chances are higher (60-80% chance of receiving above median) for Yilgarn shire and northern part of the Esperance shire. Predictive skill based on December conditions is poor to good (50-75% consistent).

SSF forecast of probability of exceeding median rainfall for January to March 2017. Indicating 40-60% chance of exceeding median rainfall for the majority of the wheatbelt, lower chances for central and southern wheatbelt higher chances for Yilgarn shire

SSF forecast of probability of exceeding median rainfall for January-March 2017

Percent Consistent skill of the SSF at forecasting January to March rainfall using data up to and including December. Skill is 50–75% consistent.

Percent Consistent skill of the SSF at forecasting January-March rainfall using data up to and including December