Issued 7th January 2020. We are fielding an increased volume of questions ATM and rightly so. We are also starting to see some big shifts forecast in the weather patterns! I’ll make it as short n sweet as possible…. Above image next 5 day rainfall forecast from 7th-12th of January 2020 via Windy.com
The most important changes that have finally occurred are in the key major climate drivers that influence our rainfall and temperatures.
1: The Indian Ocean Dipole (sea temperatures) have finally come back to normal values. Why is this so important??? Because for the past 6 months it has contributed to a lack of rainfall across large parts of Australia and also a 2 month delay in the monsoon trough developing. Now it’s normal the monsoon trough is developing and more moisture will feed across Australia from the North West.
2: The Southern Annual Mode has finally come back to near normal values (this determines the position of lows and highs across Australia). Why is this so important? Because from October to late December it was deeply negative which pushed low pressure systems much higher up across Southern Australia. Yes it provided cooler temps and some increased rainfall across Tasmania and Victoria BUT it also destroyed moisture across NSW, ACT & QLD due to very hot dry westerly winds. It WAS a major influence on the bushfires across VIC & NSW generating the very hot dry conditions with periods of very strong winds. Now it’s normal more high pressure systems can develop in the Tasman Sea / Southern Coral Sea and feed moisture in from the easterly winds into surface troughs over NSW, ACT & QLD.
3: The ENSO (El Niño / La Niña) is neutral and has been for for many months and is forecast to stay that way through 2020.
4: The monsoon trough is 2 months late across Northern Australia but it’s finally developing now across Indonesia and PNG. It is likely to also keep developing across Northern WA and Northern NT in the next week. There are signals indicating it will develop also across Northern QLD during the second half of January.
5: The MJO ( Madden / Julian Oscillation) is a tropical pulse that moves west to east along the equator and nearby tropics on about a 30-40 day cycle. It greatly increases the monsoon trough and tropical activity such as lows and cyclones. The MJO is currently located over the Maritime Contentment and is forecast to strengthen significantly 7 days and move slowly East. It will greatly influence tropical development across Northern WA and Northern NT during this time. In the 7-14day outlook it does make it into the Western Pacific which increases tropical development chances across Northern QLD the Gulf and Coral Sea. But models do suggest it will weaken a bit when it does.
So let’s have a look at the next 5 day forecast with a quick look into the 5-10 day forecast range.
The current position of the monsoon trough is circled in yellow. It’s still just north of Australia but with the aid of the MJO has and will continue to develop tropical lows and possible cyclones across WA & NT. White circled area is EX TC Blake tracking South across inland WA bringing good rain and storms. Green is the current tropical low which could become a cyclone in the next few days. It’s forecast to track West / South West and produce rain and storms Northern NT and Northern WA. The blue circled area is a cold front which should bring light falls across Southern SA, VIC and TAS.
The black circle is a trough producing showers and storms through SEQLD & Eastern NSW. The Brown arrows are an onshore wind flow causing showers and storms across Northern QLD from about Mackay to Mt Isa North. Ok that’s the next 5 days.
Here is the 5-10 outlook: There are very good signs in Model data that scattered showers and storms will increase across most of NSW and QLD due to a surface trough. Showers and storms will continue across Northern QLD, Northern NT and WA thanks to the MJO and developing Monsoon Trough.
So as you can see now that the major climate drivers are all back to normal and the weather patterns are starting to slowly respond with increased tropical activity, showers and storms.
Tropical lows and cyclones have a significantly higher risk of developing from now until the end of April. It will probably take one or two to cross the coast and track inland then South to start to break the drought properly – hopefully just not a repeat of the NQLD floods like last year if they do.
As always we have our very own in-house detailed forecasts and maps available to subscribers on our website. They cover the entire Australian region for tropical lows and cyclones. Daily, weekly, monthly and 3 monthly rain, storm and temperature forecasts and maps across QLD, NSW, ACT & VIC. Weekly rainfall and forecasts for TAS, SA, WA & NT.
Check it out here by clicking here!