February rainfall was above average for the South West Land Division due to tropical low early on in the month, with Jurien receiving 100 mm of rain. Rainfall since 1 January has been above average for the majority of the South West Land Division. February maximum temperatures were below average and minimum temperatures were average.
In February the atmospheric pressure was lower than normal over the SWLD.
Sea surface temperatures are warmer than average around much of the north, west and southeast of Australia. These warm SSTs are likely to be contributing to above-average temperature outlooks for adjacent land areas.
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 excepted to remain close to neutral throughout March. During autumn, SAM has less influence on rainfall than during other times of the year. For more information see the Bureau of Meteorology’s Climate Driver Update.
The Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) is neutral and is expected to remain neutral through autumn. IOD events are typically unable to form between April and December. This is because the monsoon trough shifts south over the tropical Indian Ocean and alters wind patterns, preventing the IOD pattern from being able to form
The current La Niña is forecast to end during autumn. La Niña typically increases the likelihood of above average rainfall across eastern Australia during early autumn.
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 3 months|
|SWLD Rainfall||Above Average||Above average|
|SWLD Mean Temperature||Below average||Average|
|SWLD atmospheric pressure||Lower||Higher|
|Indian Ocean Sea surface temperature||Warmer||Warmer|
|El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO)||La Niña||La Niña|
|Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD)||Neutral||Neutral|
|Southern Annular Mode (SAM)||Positive||Positive|