FORECASTING skill is at close to its lowest for the autumn period, but farmers will be hopeful the decaying La Nina provides some parting gifts over the next three months.
While the current La Nina event is slowly winding up, the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) said it could still have an influence on conditions over the critical autumn period, as farmers look for opening rain for the winter crop.
Lynette Bettio, BOM senior climatologist said the chances of above average rainfall were still rated as well above average for the March to May period, but cautioned that skill was not particularly high for this period.
She said there was the likelihood of a drier than average March for the far north of the country, with a very strong chance of above average rain in the south-western WA agricultural belt and through western NSW.
Into April the forecast is much more neutral, with only tropical parts of the Northern Territory veering from the median, with a higher chance than normal of above average rainfall.
Dr Bettio said the continuing influence of the La Nina would likely mean cooler days and warmer nights, while fire danger, apart from in parts of southern Queensland that have had below average summer rain, are also expected to be lower.
Moving forward, she said there was no clear shift towards any particular weather event this year.
"It all looks neutral at present, there is one model that predicts the reforming of a La Nina again after the current event ends but that is just the one model at present."
There is slightly more activity to the west of the continent, where some of the models are factoring in a negative Indian Ocean Dipole, which is correlated with above average rainfall, however fellow senior climatologist at BOM Catherine Ganter cautioned it was far too early to accurately predict whether an IOD negative would form.
"It is early days, and while it is interesting at present we are just monitoring the situation rather the forecasting a clear chance of the event forming."
The story Neutral outlook but hopes of some late La Nina rain first appeared on Farm Online.