Outlook points to wetter months ahead

Outlook points to wetter months ahead

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April rainfall is likely to be above average (60 to 75 per cent) for WA.

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Chance of exceeding the median maximum temperature for April to June 2020 in WA.

Chance of exceeding the median maximum temperature for April to June 2020 in WA.

FOR the three months April to June, wetter than average conditions are likely for much of Western Australia, particularly in the south of the State, according to the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM).

BoM released its climate outlook for April to July last week, with the report finding that April is likely to be wetter than average for the western half of Australia.

April rainfall is likely to be above average (60 to 75 per cent) for WA, with a greater than 75pc chance in southern WA.

There is a 60 to 70pc chance the three months April to June will be wetter than average across WA and greater than 70pc chance in the south west.

BoM media and communications manager Neil Bennett said the key message of the outlook is that the west of the country, especially through next month, is expecting to see the odds favouring above average rainfall.

"That doesn't mean we can guarantee it will rain more, but what we're saying is that the odds are favourable," Mr Bennett said.

"That bias in April is showing up through to June and into July.

Chance of exceeding the median rainfall for April to June 2020 in WA.

Chance of exceeding the median rainfall for April to June 2020 in WA.

"In May the signal for the odds being above average is not as strong as it is for April, so it would appear April is heavily influencing the outlook for the next two to three months."

Parts of southern WA, which may see more cloud and rainfall, are likely to have cooler than average days.

In terms of what's causing the optimistic rainfall over the next couple of months, Mr Bennet said the bureau likes to talk about climate drivers, which are things that sit in the background and help with the day-to-day weather, including fronts and troughs.

"The two main ones for us are the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) and the El Nio-Southern Oscillation (ENSO)," he said.

"ENSO is more of a factor for the Eastern States but the IOD can have a major impact for Western Australia.

"Both of those drivers are in the neutral phase and the computer modelling is suggesting they're going to stay that way for the next couple of months."

According to BoM, the outlook is being driven by above average ocean temperatures out to the north west, over the Indian Ocean, which could be a source for some good moisture.

Mr Bennett said because the sea surface temperatures out to the north west of WA are looking as if they're going to be above average, it is conceivable that the moisture content throughout the State will increase.

"The warmer the ocean, the more moisture you get from that," he said.

"If we can get weather systems that interact from the north west, that means that the amount of moisture that we can draw down would be more than if the sea surface temperatures were average or below average."

The fact that the odds of exceeding average rainfall are higher than the odds of it not exceeding mean the State will see more cloud cover, which would in turn also have an impact on the temperature outlook.

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