Seasonal Climate Outlook

Recent climate

February rainfall was above average for the majority of the SWLD due to ex-tropical cyclone Damien and a period of sustained thunderstorms late in the month.February maximum were average to above average and minimum temperatures were very much above average. Rainfall from 1 January to date has been above average in Central West, parts of the Central Wheatbelt, South West and South Coastal Districts of the SWLD.

Rainfall deciles for 1 January to 2 March 2020 in the South West Land Division. Indicating above average rainfall for northern and eastern parts.
Rainfall deciles for 1 January to 2 March 2020 in the South West Land Division.

In February, the atmospheric pressure was slightly above normal over the SWLD.

Indian Ocean sea surface temperatures (SST) off the WA coastline have been warmer than average. Warmer waters surrounding northern Australia are also likely, which would typically increase the chance of wetter conditions in southern and eastern Australia. The March to May 2020, SST forecast by the Bureau of Meteorology indicates SSTs are likely to remain warm north of WA.

The Southern Annular Mode (SAM), also known as the Antarctic Oscillation (AAO), describes the north–south movement of the westerly wind belt that circles Antarctica, dominating the middle to higher latitudes of the southern hemisphere. SAM is currently neutral and likely to remain neutral over the coming few weeks.

The Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) and the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) are currently neutral and are likely to remain neutral through the southern autumnFor further information, see the Bureau of Meteorology’s ENSO Wrap Up.

The table below gives a summary of past month and three-month South West Land Division (SWLD) climate conditions, and can indicate what is likely to occur in the near future if climate conditions follow the current pattern.

Climate Indicator Past month Past Three months
SWLD Rainfall Above average Above average to average
SWLD Mean Temperature Above average Very much above average
SWLD atmospheric pressure Above Normal Above Normal
Indian Ocean Sea surface temperature Warmer Warmer
El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) Neutral Neutral
Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) Neutral Neutral
Southern Annular Mode (SAM) Neutral Neutral